Page from Sketchbook V, George Morland

200,00

Sheet from a drawing book with two studies, a man sitting on a cart, cracking his whip (only the cart shown) at left; a right a man sitting with legs wide, cutting bread in his lap, after George Morland. The lettering reads: “London, published as the Act directs, June 1, 1793, by J. Harris, No. 28 Gerrard Street, Soho”; lettered within image with reproductions of the artist’s signature at right. Engraving in Crayon-manner, published by John Harris in 1793. The sheet measures 54 x 42,5 cm. and is in good condition.

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George Morland was a British painter and practitioner of the animalier style. Specializing in charming depictions of rural landscapes, among his best-known works is the painting Inside of Stable (c. 1791) featuring a quiet scene of farm laborers and their horses bathed in yellow light. Born on June 26, 1763 in London, England, the artist’s early life was tumultuous, with controversial accounts of his father imprisoning his son to produce forgeries of Dutch and Flemish paintings for his profit, only to be exploited further by an art dealer when he escaped his father’s home. Eventually achieving artistic autonomy, Morland’s artistic career was characterized by his prolific creation of landscape and animal paintings of English rural life, executed with attention to detail in a naturalist style representative of English painting at the time. Morland published sketchbooks which were intended to instruct beginners in drawing, and he made sketches especially for this purpose. They were very popular and many were published as soft-ground etchings from 1792 to 1807, originally as four large folio sheets between blue paper covers. He collaborated with John Harris on sketchbooks I–XVII between 1792 and 1795. Unauthorised sketchbooks then began to be published, to Morland’s irritation, some using drawings he had not approved for publication, others with drawings in his style or after his work. He resorted to publishing denouncements of the rogue works in The Times and other newspapers. He enjoyed significant success in his later life, and was well known in London for his debaucherous parties and wild lifestyle. His career was cut short by his arrest for debt and the subsequent loss of use of his left hand due to palsy, which he contracted in prison. Despite this, he painted right up until his death in London, England on October 27, 1804 at the age of 41.