b. 1805 London, d. 1881 Reigate, Great Britain
A bookseller's son, Samuel Palmer was a delicate and withdrawn child who began a love affair with poetry that remained a lifelong inspiration for his art. Despite studying with a drawing master, he was mostly self-taught. Precocious, he exhibited at the Royal Academy at the age of fifteen in 1820.In 1822 Palmer met artist John Linnell, whom he described as "a good angel from Heaven to pluck me from the pit of modern Art." Linnell introduced him to the art of such masters as Albrecht Dürer. The visionary artist William Blake, whom Palmer met in 1824, became his hero.Poor health required Palmer to leave London in 1826. He created his most visionary Romantic landscapes in Shoreham., rejecting the material world and living by the motto "Poetry and Sentiment." In 1837 he began a two-year stay in Italy, then settled in London. Despite membership in the Old Water-Colour Society and the Etching Club, Palmer had few patrons; he primarily earned his living by teaching drawing.Palmer used whichever medium met his needs: oil painting, watercolor, or drawing. He often experimented, using wash mixed with soot, blended gum arabic, or even flour, or sometimes adding water and gouache for density or texture. He frequently finished only parts of his drawings.