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Lot 280: 19 Century Oil on Canvas English Landscape Painting by George Morland, Signed
Old Master, 19th Century, & Modern Art: American, European, & Decorative Art with Paintings, Porcelain, Clocks & More
November 29, 2016
Mineola, NY, USALive Auction
Oil on canvas, relined.
Signed " G. Morland " lower right.
Size: 14 x 17 3/4 in.
Frame: 18 3/4 x 23 1/4 in.
George Morland (26 June 1763 Ð 29 October 1804) was an English painter of animals and rustic scenes. Morland was born in London, the 3rd son (of 6 children) of Henry Robert Morland (c. 1719Ð1797), artist, engraver and picture restorer. His father had once been a rich man but fell into reduced circumstances - his pictures of laundry-maids, reproduced in mezzotint, and representing ladies of some importance, were very popular in their time. His mother was a Frenchwoman who possessed a small independent property of her own. His grandfather, George H. Morland, was a subject painter.
At a very early age Morland produced sketches of remarkable promise, exhibiting some at the Royal Academy in 1773, when he was but ten years old. He continued to exhibit at the Free Society of Artists in 1775 and 1776, and at the Society of Artists in 1777, then at the Royal Academy in 1778, 1779 and 1780. His very earliest work, however, was produced even before that tender age, as his father kept a drawing which the boy had executed when he was but four years old, representing a coach and horses and two footmen.
He was a student at the Royal Academy in early youth, but only for a very short time. From the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to his father for seven years, and by means of his talent appears to have kept the family together. He had opportunities at this time of seeing some of the greatest artists of the day, and works by old masters, but even then a strange repugnance for educated society showed itself, and no persuasion, for example, could ever allure him within reach of the Angerstein gallery, where he would have been a welcome visitor.
Before his apprenticeship came to an end, George Romney offered to take Morland into his studio for three years, with a salary of £300 a year, but the offer was rejected, and as soon as his freedom came, he left his dull, respectable home, with its over-strict discipline, and began a career of reckless prodigality which has hardly a parallel in art biography. In 1785 he was in France, whither his fame had preceded him, and where he had no lack of commissions, and in the following year he married Anne (the sister of engraver William Ward and artist James Ward) and settled down in High Street, Marylebone, London.
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Artist or Maker: George Morland