DAWE, Philip (c. 1740-1832) after Geoge MORLAND (1763-1804)
Children Gathering Black-Berries
London: Published by William Dickinson, 20 December 1788. Mezzotint with added hand colour. In excellent condition with the exception of some repairs in the margins. Image size: 18 1/4 x 13 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 22 1/8 x 16 1/2 inches.
A lovely impression of this beautiful print after George Morland, a master of English genre painting.
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. Morland 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. Morland is considered a master of genre, his beautiful paintings depict with insightful subtlety the tender side of English country life.
This nicely composed scene derives in part from the discovery of children as suitable subjects for art that occurred during the Romantic Era. Prior to that time, children had been shown, generally unconvincingly, as small adults. Direct observations by Reynolds and others revealed that children had different proportions as well as different preoccupations from adults. George Morland in particular was especially interested in the seriousness of children's play and the importance of make-believe.
Dawe, G. Morland p.139.