Samuel Palmer, 'Ruth Returning from Gleaning'

Samuel Palmer, 'Ruth Returning from Gleaning'

Samuel Palmer (1805-81)
'Ruth Returning from Gleaning'
About 1828
Pencil, pen and ink, chalk and wash heightened with bodycolour
Museum no. E.3449-1923
Given by A.H. Palmer, the son of the artist

Palmer left London to live and work more simply at Shoreham in Kent, planning to illustrate the biblical story of Ruth. Nearly all the works he made, however, were intimate landscapes, peopled with tiny figures. This grandly conceived drawing is dominated by the powerful figure of Ruth the Gleaner, symbolising the fecundity of the land. Blake's influence is apparent in the robust figure-type and dynamic composition.