Mysterious Wisdom

Mysterious Wisdom : The Life and Work of Samuel Palmer

4.35 (17 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A devotee of the great visionary William Blake, Samuel Palmer became the lynchpin of the first British art movement. Leading a band of fellow artists - the brotherhood of Ancients - out of London to the village of Shoreham in Kent, he set out to create a new rural ideal. His paintings of slumbering shepherds and tumbling blossoms, of mystical cornfields and bright sickle moons, capture a world in which landscape and politics, religion and culture all meet. They reflect the concerns of the nineteenth century which his life spanned. In his day, like his mentor Blake, Samuel Palmer was much neglected. He did not attempt the grand dramas of J.M.W. Turner or follow John Constable's profoundly naturalistic path. But he belongs in their pantheon of great British Romantics as much for the numinous visions that are embodied in his loveliest paintings as for the vagaries of a life story in which he so often failed. If English tradition had ever encompassed the making of icons they would not have been so different from Palmer's enchanted landscapes. Mysterious Wisdom offers for the first time in more than thirty-five years a vivid and intimate portrait of Palmer who, over the course of the past century, has become increasingly treasured as one of the most extraordinarily talented and quirkily eccentric figures of the British art world, or - as the art historian Kenneth Clark believed - an English Van Gogh.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 156 x 240 x 38mm | 680.39g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations (chiefly col.)
  • 0747595879
  • 9780747595878
  • 451,926

About Rachel Campbell-Johnston

Rachel Campbell Johnston is the art critic and the poetry critic for The Times. She has a PhD in English Literature. Rachel Campbell Johnston lives in London and in Norfolk with her family and her flock of sheep.show more

Review quote

Shortlisted for the Biographers' Club HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize 2011 `A fine and sympathetic study of one of England's greatest artists' * Peter Ackroyd *show more

Rating details

17 ratings
4.35 out of 5 stars
5 59% (10)
4 24% (4)
3 12% (2)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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