Like the present work, many of Sutherland’s best works from this period include elements from the Kent and Sussex landscape near Shoreham where Sutherland’s great influence, the 19th-century artist Samuel Palmer had lived and been inspired. This work differs from the etching Village in a number of ways, including cropping to the upper part of the image and in the shape at the lower edge.
In a letter to his biographer Roger Berthoud at the end of his life, Sutherland wrote ‘The best of the Shoreham drawings [by Palmer], the very best, were unsentimental. The landscapes were daring, and were drawn from unexpected viewpoints: The Girl in the Ploughed Field astonished me with its total disregard for conventional composition.’ In the present work Sutherland clearly puts into practice what he admire most in Palmer’s work. The use of ink and wash permitted him to build an image of great intensity, translated in the linear patterns for the etching.
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