#FineArtFriday: Landscape, Fruit and Flowers by Frances Flora Bond Palmer 1862

Landscape,_Fruit_and_FlowersArtist: Frances Flora Bond Palmer (1812–1876)

Title: Landscape, Fruit and Flowers

Description: Lithographed and published by Currier & Ives

Date: 1862

Medium: Hand-colored lithograph

Dimensions: height: 19.8 in (50.3 cm); width: 27.5 in (69.8 cm)

Collection: Metropolitan Museum of Art, bequest of Adele S. Colgate, 1962

What I love about this picture:

This is a romantic Victorian image of what a prosperous life might be. Lush, rich, pastoral, and bountiful. The artist created a renaissance-style composition, but with Victorian touches – the hummingbird poised to sip nectar, flowers arranged over ripe fruit, and golden globes (pears?) tucked in amongst strawberries and raspberries. In the background, a farmhouse is situated on a green pasture that stretches to the sea. The fruit and flowers are posed in the front and center, yet they feel organic and natural, as if a picnic were about to occur.

About the Artist, via Wikipedia:

Frances Flora Bond Palmer (July 24, 1812 – August 20, 1876), often referred to as Fanny Palmer, was an English artist who became successful in the United States as a lithographer for Currier and Ives.

In her youth, Palmer, with her sister Maria, attended Miss Linwood’s School for young ladies, a select private school in London run by needlework artist Mary Linwood. There she was instructed in music, literature, and the fine arts.

On July 13, 1832, Frances Flora Bond married Edmund Seymour Palmer. They had a daughter, Frances E. Palmer, in 1833, and a son Edmund Jr., in 1835.

By the year 1841, the Palmers operated a lithography business together with Frances as the artist and Edmund as the printer. The first notice of their work appeared in the Leicester Journal on May 13, 1842. As an artist-printer team, the Palmers began a series of topographical prints under the title of Sketches of Leicestershire. These prints were very well received and often advertised in the Leicester Journal and the Leicester Chronicle amongst enthusiastic reviews.

When the Palmers were unable to secure enough work for themselves, their business failed. Nathaniel Currier then took over their stock and, recognizing Palmer’s talents, hired her to work for his firm.

During Palmer’s association with the printing companies of N. Currier and Currier and Ives, between 1849–1868, she is credited with producing around two hundred lithographs. She participated in every stage of the lithographic printing process in some way and was widely renowned for her technical skills. She is also credited with assisting Nathaniel Currier in the improvement of existing lithographic technology, including Currier’s own lithographic crayon.

Palmer specialized in landscape and genre prints. Among her subjects were rural farm scenes, famous American ships and architecture, hunters, and Western landscapes. A notable example of these prints during her time with Currier and Ives is her highly regarded series of six bird hunting scenes. Palmer sketched these scenes from life using her husband Edmund Palmer, his friends, and their hunting dogs as models. Each medium-folio print is labeled “Drawing from nature and on stone by FF Palmer,” and was priced at two dollars at the time of its publication in 1852.

Though her work was mainly directed by the type of prints that Currier and Ives wanted to sell or determined by preexisting prints, her few original pieces received praise for their compositional fluidity and technical skill. Her most notable original work is titled Landscape, Fruit, and Flowers, published in 1862. In Still Life Painting in America, Wolfgang Born describes the composition of this work as “flawless.” He also describes the piece as an example of early chromolithography anticipating the impressionist movement. [1]

Credits and Attributions:

Image: Landscape, Fruit and Flowers by Frances Flora Bond Palmer 1862 Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Landscape, Fruit and Flowers.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Landscape,_Fruit_and_Flowers.jpg&oldid=303703279 (accessed August 25, 2022).

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “Frances Flora Bond Palmer,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Frances_Flora_Bond_Palmer&oldid=1091932065 (accessed August 25, 2022).


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4 responses to “#FineArtFriday: Landscape, Fruit and Flowers by Frances Flora Bond Palmer 1862

  1. I love the colors in this painting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to touch the flowers. They look velvety soft. 😉

    Liked by 1 person