Today’s blog is a brief tribute to the artist George Morland who was born this day 1763. He is remembered for his beautiful soft landscapes, his pictures of gypsies and laundry women – everyday scenes.
He was born into a family of painters so perhaps it is not surprising that the ten year old George was already exhibiting sketches at the Royal Academy and at the Society of Artists. For a very brief time he was enrolled into the Royal Academy as a student but left college and decided to get a 7 year apprenticeship with his father at the age of 14.
The end of his apprenticeship meant he could escape from the stifling respectability of home life, and he kicked over the traces with some style and dedication! His adult life was a continuing series of encounters with creditors, spending time at the Kings Bench Prison, evading money collectors etc while pursuing a riotous lifestyle.
In the end all this dissipation caught up with him: he suffered from paralysis and epileptic fits. He died on 29th October 1804 at the age of 41. His long-suffering wife, Anne, only survived him by 3 days as she collapsed into convulsive fits on hearing the news of his demise. They were buried together in St James Chapel.
Here are a few of my favourite pictures by George, who lived life to the full, and then some…
First, a couple of smuggling and wrecking pictures:
Here is one of his pastoral scenes, the wooded landscape with toll gate:
He was strangely fond of painting pigs! Here is one I like, followed for no particular reason by one entitled The Village Butcher!
I also like this one of the maid ironing, and one entitled Paying the Ostler: