Monday, 27 January 2014


It's Samuel Palmer's birthday today (born 1805), so here is his early masterpiece In a Shoreham Garden (which hangs in the V&A), a foretaste of blossom time on this chilly winter day - though no earthly blossom could ever be quite so gloriously, quintessentially blossomy as Palmer's. Usually described as apple blossom, in its clotted abundance it looks more like cherry blossom to me - but a breath of Eden wafts through this garden, so apple it must be...
 Oddly Google celebrates this day not with a Palmer doodle but with Violette-le-Duc, the architect who restored (to put it mildly) so many of France's Gothic buildings. Google could also have celebrated Mozart (born on this day in 1756), 'Lewis Carroll' (1832), Jerome Kern (1885) - or even Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836). I read his Venus in Furs once many years ago, but remember absolutely nothing of it...