barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Samuel Palmer (1805-1881)

The Cypress Grove

Redhill, Surrey, about 1880, completed 1883

Etching

13 x 19 cm 

 

Set amid a mountainous nocturnal landscape, a group of nymphs mourn for the shepherd Daphnis who has been blinded by the nymph Nomia for being unfaithful.

Loosely based on Virgil’s Eclogues (42-39 B.C.), this work may have been inspired by William Blake’s illustration of a similar theme (1821). Palmer was an integral figure in English Romanticism and from 1824 was acquainted with Blake and his work. The cascading waterfall could be seen as representing Daphnis’s turbulent and passionate death at the hands of his lover Nomia.

Purchased 1960 (No. 60.11)

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