BELL, E[dward] after George MORLAND (1763 - 1804)
London: Published by T. Ladd, 12 July 1801. A pair of colour printed mezzotints with added hand colour. In excellent condition with the exception of being laid down and cut to the edge of the plate mark. A few skillfully mended tears in the margins. Image size: 18 3/8 x 24 inches. Sheet size: 19 3/4 x 24 3/4 inches approx.
A beautiful image after Morland: 'a master of genre and animal painting, an artist worthy to be placed in the same rank as the best of those Dutch masters whom he studied as a boy' (DNB)
A wonderful example of the manner in which Morland perfectly conveys the beauty of country life. George Morland was one of the most successful genre painters of his time, creating, during his industrious career. At an early age Morland displayed his artistic genius, he learned to paint at three and exhibited his first work at the Royal Academy at the mere age of ten. Morland was a prodigious painter, producing more than 4000 paintings during his career, and sometimes painting two or three works in a day. His beautiful idealistic scenes were a favorite source of inspiration for contemporary engravers, and as many as 250 separate engravings were done of his paintings during his lifetime.
Morland endowed the commonplace activities of country life with a well-disposed and friendly vitality. Having spent his youth entirely in London, he had an urbanite's appreciation for rural ways that was straightforward and unpatronising. He loved the world he depicted, particularly, children and animals.
"Selling Peas" is a wonderful example of the manner in which Morland perfectly conveys the beauty of English country life, and by representing the gentler side of commerce, Morland depicts his vision of the rural ideal.