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The Willow

  • Object:

    Printing Plate

  • Place of origin:

    England (probably, etched)

  • Date:

    1850 (etched)
    1926(?) (destroyed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Samuel Palmer, born 1805 - died 1881 (etcher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etched steel-faced copperplate

  • Credit Line:

    Given by A. H. Palmer

  • Museum number:

    E.1456-1926

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case V, shelf 6, box C

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).

Place of Origin

England (probably, etched)

Date

1850 (etched)
1926(?) (destroyed)

Artist/maker

Samuel Palmer, born 1805 - died 1881 (etcher)

Materials and Techniques

Etched steel-faced copperplate

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).

Dimensions

Height: 12 cm, Width: 8.3 cm

Object history note

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]

Descriptive line

'The Willow'. A willow tree growing out across a stream. Etched steel-faced copperplate. Etched by Samuel Palmer, England, 1850. Cancelled 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 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.

Labels and date

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. []

Production Note

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.

Materials

Steel; Copper

Techniques

Etching

Subjects depicted

Cattle; Stream; Rural scenes; Swan; Willow tree; Pastoral

Categories

Prints; Tools & Equipment; Printmaking techniques

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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