WARD, William (1766-1826) after George MORLAND (1763-1804)
London: Published by T. Simpson and Darling & Thompson, 1 July 1794. Colour printed mezzotint with added hand colour. Image size: 17 3/8 x 21 3/4 inches. Very good condition apart from a mild crease in the lower right of the image. Sheet size: 19 1/2 x 24 3/4 inches.
A lovely colour printed impression of this charming print by Ward after the famous genre painter George Morland.
Morland pursued his vision of pastoral contentment in many pictures during the 1790's, many of which were superbly engraved by his brother-in-law, William Ward. These took many forms and the emotional idea at the basis of them has lived on into our era. Here, the young couple with four young children share the twilight hour with their pigs, chickens and dog. This end of day re-union of the family was clearly a kind of sacred moment for Morland, a kind of non-sectarian, rural vespers.
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.