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The Gleaning Field

Samuel Palmer

The Gleaning Field

Samuel Palmer
  • Date: c.1833
  • Style: Romanticism
  • Genre: genre painting, landscape
  • Media: tempera, mahogany panel
  • Dimensions: 30.5 x 45.4 cm
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Blake’s words in Jerusalem are those of a prophet who will not rest until liberty and peace are ‘built’ in ‘England’s green & pleasant Land’. In terms of ancient mythology this might be compared with the second, or silver, age of man when he had to toil to live.

This picture shows a scene after harvesting has finished. Sheaves (an attribute of the silver age) are in the foreground. In the background are the sheep of ‘England’s pleasant pastures’. Palmer, a devout Christian, was the artist who most successfully wrought images of ‘England’s green & pleasant Land’ out of a harsher reality.

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