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Cluster index: Mark Jones

Herbert Palmer.

Mark Jones: ‘IF SAMUEL PALMER is today regarded as an important and compelling artist in his own right rather than merely an acolyte of the elderly William Blake, the process of rediscovery which led to that assessment can be directly traced back to the efforts of Martin Hardie and Herbert Palmer in the 1920s. Their collaboration on the 1926 exhibition, as fraught and troublesome as it often was succeeded in rescuing Palmer from the ranks of formulaic mid-Victorian landscape painters chiefly through the revelation that in his youth he had been capable of producing the portfolio of anomalous wonders that was the Shoreham work.’

James Smetham calls on the Ruskins.

Mark Jones: ‘By inviting Smetham to Denmark Hill, Ruskin was admitting to his circle of acquaintances one of the most intriguing and curious actors to feature on the outskirts of the whole Pre-Raphaelite pageant. Although Smetham’s art along with his facility with an evocative phrase have largely been mislaid by posterity, his talents both as painter and correspondent are long overdue for critical reappraisal.’