30. Samuel Palmer
(1805-1881)

The Herdsman’s Cottage or Sunset

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Palmer, Herdsman’s Cottage

The Herdsman’s Cottage or Sunset

Etching, 1850, 125 x 102 mm., Lister 3 ii/ii. Fine impression on Arches laid paper with full margins (sheet size 313 x 214 mm.) from one of the several published editions; a part of the right edge of the sheet browned. There were, apparently, only a few proof impressions besides the published ones. The Herdsman’s Cottage, like all Palmer’s etchings, is about the play of light and shadow and particularly about those tiny reflections of light that, due to the white paper with no film of ink on it, give to the image an iridescent effect. Hamerton thought of Palmer as a painter expressing himself in etching and also thought that mezzotint would be a better medium for his work. Palmer, thankfully, disagreed, and art is all the better-off for it, for no one else, apart from Palmer’s conscious followers, etched like this.

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