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The Willow

Printing Plate
1850 (etched), 1926(?) (destroyed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

A willow tree (filling almost the entire composition) growing out over a stream, above wading cattle and a swan. Etched steel-faced copperplate, with bevelled edges, cancelled by a single vertical line through the centre of the image. In the lower-right corner, below the design, the steel-facing has been rubbed away and a small etched triangle has been added (to identify the final printing before the plate was destroyed).

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleThe Willow (assigned by artist)
Materials and techniques
Etched steel-faced copperplate
Brief description
'The Willow'. A willow tree growing out across a stream. Etched steel-faced copperplate. Etched by Samuel Palmer, England, 1850. Cancelled 1926(?).
Physical description
A willow tree (filling almost the entire composition) growing out over a stream, above wading cattle and a swan. Etched steel-faced copperplate, with bevelled edges, cancelled by a single vertical line through the centre of the image. In the lower-right corner, below the design, the steel-facing has been rubbed away and a small etched triangle has been added (to identify the final printing before the plate was destroyed).
Dimensions
  • Height: 12cm
  • Width: 8.3cm
Measured by DH 08/07/2010
Marks and inscriptions
  • 'I. SHAFE / [illegible] SHOE LANE / LONDON' (Stamped into verso.)
  • (In the lower-right corner, below the design, the steel-facing has been rubbed away and a small etched triangle has been added (to identify the final printing before the plate was destroyed).)
Gallery label
PALMER, Samuel (1805-1881). The Willow. Final state. 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. Plate destroyed. Signed in pencil F.S.-M.H.-F.L.G. Etching. (4 11/16 x 3 3/16) E.1455-1926. Presented by A. H. Palmer, Esq. Cancelled plate of above etching. E.1456-1926. Presented by A. H. Palmer, Esq. Impression from above cancelled plate. E.1457-1926. Presented by A. H. Palmer, Esq.
Credit line
Given by A. H. Palmer
Object history
75 impressions were taken from this plate, 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.

In the first state, there is a white streak across the sky, running from the edge of the plate to the tree, 2 mm. above the cumulus cloud on the left. This is filled up in the later state. In the later state also, there are a few more lines of shading in the upper part of the sky to the right.

A. H. Palmer explained that:
'It should be noted that the tree in this etching was practically copied from a careful water-colour study made from nature, and of a much larger size. Such a proceeding was very rare in any of Palmer's work. In this case, it may have been due, partly to a feeling of timidity in a new process, or, partly to a prudent wish not to endanger his election by anything too characteristic or ambitious.'
[Taken from: 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. p.56]
Production
See an impression taken from this plate before it was cancelled, E.1455-1926, and an impression taken after it was cancelled, E.1457-1926.
Subjects depicted
Associated objects
Bibliographic references
  • 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.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1926, London: Board of Education, 1927.
Collection
Accession number
E.1456-1926

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Record createdJune 30, 2009
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