Elizabeth Harvey-Lee Logo. Etchings and Prints for Sale Elizabeth Harvey-Lee, Print Dealer. Etchings and Prints for Sale Elizabeth Harvey-Lee | Print Dealer Elizabeth Harvey-Lee | Print Dealer
Click here to return to the Home page at any time
Further information about Elizabeth harvey-Lee, Print Dealer and Seller
The methods and history of printmaking
Order back-copies of Elizabeth's previous printed catalogues
View this month's selection of prints for sale
View Elizabeth's current on-line exhibition, many prints for sale, and explore the archives
Contact Elizabeth Harvey-Lee and enquire about prints for sale
Elizabeth Harvey-Lee
Elizabeth Harvey-Lee

You are hereHarvey-LeeHomeHarvey-LeeWeb ExhibitionsHarvey-LeeSamuel Palmer Intro Harvey-LeeThe Weary Ploughman

Samuel Palmer  
(Newington, south London 1805 – 1881 Redhill, near Reigate, Surrey)

The Weary Ploughman originally known as
The Herdsman
or Tardus Bubulcus

The Weary Ploughman | Samuel Palmer | Etching | Elizabeth Harvey-Lee

The Weary Ploughman originally known as The Herdsman or Tardus Bubulcus
Alexander 8 viii/viii, Lister 8 viii/viii
192 x 263 mm (plate); 132 x 202 mm (image); 321 x 448 mm (sheet)

Etching, 1858. Published state, with the number 4 in the lower plate border, as issued in A Selection of Etchings by the Etching Club, 1865; total edition of 350; the only issue; comprising 300 on india paper and 50 proofs on larger paper. On laid india paper. Occasional foxing and other small defects in the wide margins of the support sheet. Gilt-edged along one side. Two old tape stains at the sheet edges verso.


< Previous Palmer Print

Additional Information about the Print

Palmer carried out this plate in 1858, in a six week period of intense, almost non-stop work. He made copious technical notes about biting times and procedures.

Palmer exhibited a proof impression of The Weary Ploughman at the Royal Academy in 1865 with the title The Ploughman Homeward Plods his Weary Way, a quotation from Thomas Gray’s Elegy written in a Country Churchyard (1742-50), which gives rise to the alternative Latin title in translation of Tardus Bubulcus.

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

However, though A H Palmer later would strongly deny it as the title, it was as The Herdsman  that the image was listed and published. Lister points out that is a more appropriate title as the oxen show no signs of tackle and ploughing was unlikely to have been taking place in Spring when the horse-chestnut tree, at the left, was in flower.

It was Griggs who came up with the title The Weary Ploughman, complementing that of Palmer’s next plate, The Early Ploughman, a plate of similar dimensions and composition, but in reverse.