Samuel Palmer created A Church With A Boat And Sheep (circa 1831) during his rural retreat in the village of Shoreham, not far from London.
A key figure in the Romantic movement, Palmer and his accomplices (a group known as the Ancients) left the hectic pace of London for the peace and quiet of the countryside.
Samuel Palmer left London for the countryside in the late 1820s
They began producing work inspired by their rural idyll, drawing inspiration from England’s medieval past.
Last night, A Church With A Boat And Sheep sold for an artist's record $2.1m in Sotheby’s Line of Beauty sale in New York, a big increase on the $350,000 estimate.
It’s one of very few of Palmer’s coveted Shoreham works still in private hands.
Only three have sold at auction, the last in 1995.
The Line of Beauty sale consisted of old master drawings from the collection of Howard and Saretta Barrett. Big names like Goya and Degas featured alongside some lesser known but carefully selected pieces.
Gregory Rubinstein, head of Sotheby’s old master drawings department, said: “These results demonstrate the market’s understandable enthusiasm for museum-quality, fresh-to-market material, as was the case with the record-breaking Samuel Palmer drawing that led the auction.
“It’s incredibly rare for such a collection to appear at auction, and it’s been a joy to have worked on it from start to finish.
“Rarely, if ever, have I seen a more perfectly chosen collection, in any category.”
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