Samuel Palmer’s “Garden in Shoreham” and Other Images of Spring

File:Samuel Palmer 002.jpg

Samuel Palmer, Garden in Shoreham, 1829

How captivating this painting is!  Even more so after a long and heavy winter.  At first this painting appears to be of a typical English country garden scene, and yet, upon further examination Palmer’s ‘stylized’ blossom tree seems to have an almost surreal quality to it.  The garden path, seemingly lengthened by the enormity of the tree in comparison with the delicacy of the figure in red, appears so inviting, as if one could just step into it.  This painting is often called visionary, and one can understand why.  The stillness of the figure – the way in which she stands in profile gazing at something we cannot see – adds an enchanting air of mystery to the work.

Vincent Van Gogh, Peach Trees in Blossom, Arles, 1888

Van Gogh, despite having an artistic career of only ten years, built up a large body of work, mostly scenes from nature which included many vibrant and evocative images of spring.  This painting  illustrates the first signs of new life and the gradual close of winter, patches of green grass beginning to show as the snow melts.  Van Gogh’s bold and instinctive brush strokes, sadly overlooked during his own life time, embody the vigour and auspiciousness of spring.

Radha and Krishna in the Grove, circa 1780, Kangra (India), Watercolour.  Housed in the V&A, London.

In this delicate scene, the love of Radha and Krishna causes nature to rejoice and spring to begin in all its glory.

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~ by bethiarose on April 22, 2010.

7 Responses to “Samuel Palmer’s “Garden in Shoreham” and Other Images of Spring”

  1. Love what you are doing here! I very much look forward to the prospect of reading your criticism & this new blog. Very appealling that you on occasion “thematically” connect works from different periods.
    All power to you Laxshmi! : ))
    Much Love
    Ian

  2. It is nice to see the delicacy and depth of artists in different contexts while seeing the spring coming. With that I can deepen my heart and soul when I look to the sky in this chilly sunny day of April. Thank you again Laxshmi for such inspiration

  3. On second thoughts, looking at this painting, I feel that the figure may be either a figment of the imagination (of Palmer) or an apparition of some kind. Palmer was fascinated by the medieval and the past and this lady wears a medieval style gown and looks rather unworldly.

  4. fascinating that it is a woman in a beautiful garden with an enormous depiction of a beautiful tree with enormous white (the clour of purity) blossoms. Reminds me of Khalil Gibran’s poem ‘Do not go into the garden…the garden is inside’ in relation to the power of the divine pure feminine principle, the beatrice of William Blake.

  5. I also think the lady is very classical in her feature and looks like a mother full of gravity. It s just my feeling beacuse u almost cannot really see her. Then I try looking beyond the painting and see her figure like incapsulated in a smallspace, a little bit like the energy in the sacrum bone (named sacrum by classical people too)…just my feelings 🙂 .

  6. …great feelings 🙂

  7. […] Palmer – Garden in Shoreham This entry was posted in ART by studiomogul admin. Bookmark the […]

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