The new use of a varied cross hatching technique was due, in part, to instruction from Palmer’s friend, Charles West Cope, however, the greatest development to be found in 'The Skylark' was in Palmer's handling of the sky and the effects of light displayed throughout this print. Palmer was particularly indebted to Thomas Creswick for this development, namely in his work 'Evening on the Common' upon which the sky of this etching was based. In the words of the artist's son A.H. Palmer:
'He has captured the delicate upward flush of early dawn over thin vaprous cloud'.
Beneath the image, of this impression, Palmer wrote a pencil inscription, 'To hear the lark begin his flight..' which is taken from Milton’s 'L’Allegro'. He so revered the poet that he described him as 'an arch alchemist in that everything he touched turned to gold'. The artist further expressed his admiration by vowing that he wishes always to carry a brass bound collection of Milton's poetry, in his waistcoat pocket.
'To hear the lark begin his flight, And singing startle the dull night,
From his watch-towre in the skies, Till the dappled dawn doth rise'.
|Image Size||9.9 x 7.4 cm|
|Plate Size||12 x 9.7 cm|
|Sheet Size||29.6 x 21.6 cm|
|Reference||Reference: Lister E.2. Rare proof of an un-described intermediate state between states vi and vii (after plate cut down, before text). Only one other impression in this state is known and was donated to the British Museum in 1872 by A.H. Palmer on behalf of his father.|
|Provenance||The Artist's collection;|
|Cotswold Gallery, 'Thirteenth Catalogue', 1927, item 134|
|Exhibitions||Art Treasures Exhibition”, Manchester, 1857|