WARD, William (1766-1826) after George MORLAND (1763-1804)
London: Published by Henry Morland, 1 January 1806. Colour printed mezzotint. In excellent condition apart from some skillfully mended tears. Image size: 17 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches. Sheet size: 19 1/2 x 24 3/4 inches.
A lovely colour printed impression of Ward's idyllic print reflecting the English rural ideal, after a painting by George Morland.
The term "warrener" refers to someone adept at catching rabbits in their warrens, which the man in this image has clearly done. Bringing home today's sustenance is one element of rural life that Morland worked so prodigiously to demonstrate to his more sophisticated audience. It was a world that grew increasingly foreign to the urbanized world as the 19th century approached.
George Morland was one of the most successful genre painters of his time, creating, during his industrious career, some of England's most cherished paintings. 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. He was a prodigious painter, producing more than 4000 paintings during the entirety of 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. His brother-in-law, William Ward, engraved a great number of his paintings reproducing in print his endearing paintings of English country life. Ward's engravings after Morland are some of the most beautiful prints of the period; they combine fine technical skill and inspired artistic imagination to create enduring images that speak of the taste and beauty of the age.