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