132
132
Samuel Palmer, R.W.S
THE WATERFALL AT PISTIL MAWDDACH, NEAR DOLGELLY, NORTH WALES
Estimate
50,00070,000
JUMP TO LOT
132
Samuel Palmer, R.W.S
THE WATERFALL AT PISTIL MAWDDACH, NEAR DOLGELLY, NORTH WALES
Estimate
50,00070,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Drawings

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New York

Samuel Palmer, R.W.S
NEWINGTON 1805 - 1881 REDHILL
THE WATERFALL AT PISTIL MAWDDACH, NEAR DOLGELLY, NORTH WALES
Watercolor and bodycolor over pencil;
signed lower right: S. Palmer, inscribed lower left: Pistil Mawddach near Dolgelley N. Wales
470 by 372 mm; 18 1/2  by 14 1/2  in
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Provenance

Bryan Westwood,
his sale, London, Sotheby's, 12 July 1967, lot 228

Literature

G. Grigson, Samuel Palmer - The Visionary Years, London 1947, p. 132;
C. White, English Landscape 1630-1850, New Haven, London 1977, p. 123;
R. Lister, Catalogue Raisonne of the Works of Samuel Palmer, Cambridge 1988, p. 111, no. 243

Catalogue Note

This watercolor was created in 1835, while Palmer was on a summer sketching tour of North Wales with his friend and fellow artist Edward Calvert.  Palmer was immediately entranced by the magnificence of the waterfall and alongside the present work he produced two further watercolors of the subject. One of these remains in a private collection, while the other is in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven.1  Further to these works on paper, Palmer painted an oil of the cascade which is now in the Tate Britain, London.2

The Palmer scholar, Raymond Lister, hugely admired these images of the falls and placed them firmly in the tradition of the picturesque school of Richard Wilson, James Ward and William Payne.  He further suggested that the paintings of Claude Lorrain were a powerful influence.  Throughout his life Palmer admired Claude and indeed wrote of him: ‘the last skill of imitation (of nature) is to know what should be omitted… I remember reading a critic questioning the truth of a peculiar mass of rocks in one of Claude’s pictures.  I have seen none like it, but I did not measure Claude’s knowledge by my own ignorance.  On my next tour, I came upon the very thing and sketched it.’3

The present work has remained hidden from public view since 1967 and with its masterful combination of light, atmosphere and detailed observation of nature, one can understand why Lister referred to this group of drawings as ‘amongst the finest of his post-Shoreham pictures’.4

1.  R. Lister, op. cit., p. 106, nos. 226, 227
2.  ibid., pp. 106-7, no. 228
3.  idemSamuel Palmer: His Life and Art, Cambridge 1987, p. 5
4.  idem, Samuel Palmer – A Biography, London 1974, p. 94

Old Master Drawings

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