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Etching - The Early Ploughman
  • The Early Ploughman
    Samuel Palmer, born 1805 - died 1881
  • Enlarge image

The Early Ploughman

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (probably, etched)

  • Date:

    ca.1861 - 1867 (etched)
    1926(?) (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Samuel Palmer, born 1805 - died 1881 (etcher)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Presented by A. H. Palmer, Esq.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case EE, shelf 11, box A

Physical description

Rural scene showing a ploughman driving a pair of oxen, with plough, towards the left of the image. Birds are taking flight above a bridge to the left of the scene and a figure holding a pot on their head is standing by a line of trees to the right.

Place of Origin

England (probably, etched)


ca.1861 - 1867 (etched)
1926(?) (printed)


Samuel Palmer, born 1805 - died 1881 (etcher)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

'F.S. - M.H. - F.L.G.'
Signed in pencil.

A small etched triangle in the lower margin on the left.


Height: 18 cm plate impression (approx), Width: 25 cm plate impression (approx)

Object history note

This is one of 75 impressions, on specially chosen old paper, printed under the supervision of Sir Frank Short, R.A., P.R.E., R.I., Martin Hardie, R.I., R.E. and F. L. Griggs, A.R.A., R.E., before the cancelling of the plate. A small etched triangle has been added in the lower margin on the left, to identify the final printing, and each proof is signed in pencil: "F.S. - M.H. - F.L.G."
Plate destroyed.

Descriptive line

'The Early Ploughman' (also known as 'The Morning Spread upon the Mountains'). Rural scene showing a ploughman driving a pair of oxen as the sun rises behind the hillside. Etching (final state) by Samuel Palmer, England, ca.1861-1867, printed 1926(?).

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Catalogue of an exhibition of drawings, etchings & woodcuts by Samuel Palmer and other disciples of William Blake. London, Pub. under the authority of the Board of Education, 1926
Catalogue of an Exhibition of Drawings, Etchings & Woodcuts by Samuel Palmer and other Disciples of William Blake October 20 - December 31, 1926. London : Published under the authority of the Board of Education, 1926. Publication No. 178 E.I.D. pp.79-80.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1926, London: Board of Education, 1927.


Paper; Printing ink


Etching (printing process)

Subjects depicted

Bridge; Rural scenes; Man; Plough; Pot; Ploughing; Agriculture; Birds; Trees; Oxen


Prints; Printmaking techniques


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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