English landscape painter and etcher. He showed a precocious talent and exhibited landscape drawings at the Royal Academy when he was 14. In 1822 he met Linnell, who introduced him to William Blake
in 1824. Palmer had had visionary experiences from childhood and the effect of Blake
upon him was to intensify an inherent mystical bent.
In 1826 he moved to Shoreham, near Sevenoaks, Kent, where he was the central figure of the group of artists known as the Ancients and produced what are now his most famous works - landscapes
charged with a sense of pantheistic fecundity and other-worldly beauty. In about 1832 what he called his primitive and infantine feeling for landscape began to fade, and after returning to London in 1835, marrying Linnell s daughter in 1837, and spending a two-year honeymoon in Italy, the break with his visionary manner was complete. His later paintings were in a much more conventional topographical or pastoral mode, highly-wrought and often sentimental in feeling. In his etchings, however, something of his early genius remained; at his death he was working on an edition of Virgil s Eclogues, translated and illustrated by himself. His early work was virtually forgotten until the 1920s, but it has subsequently influenced modern romantic landscape artists such as Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland.
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