Watercolor and gouache with graphite and scraping
Sheet: 25.6 x 35.4 cm (10 1/16 x 13 15/16 in.)
The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2009.3
Catalogue raisonné: Lister 646
Around the time this watercolor was made, Samuel Palmer began to focus primarily on naturalistic landscapes that he hoped would be commercially successful in order to contend with the practical responsibilities of married life and family.
Samuel Palmer developed a personal and emotionally charged style of landscape painting that celebrated nature as the product of divine creation. This watercolor of a spectacularly colorful sunset over the hills of Surrey was painted by Palmer toward the end of his life. An autumn sky heavy with rows of cumulus clouds shimmers in a pattern of pink and amethyst, as slivers of golden light emanate from the setting sun. The idyllic landscape is an elegy not only to a passing day, but to the brevity of life itself.
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