WARD, William (1766-1826) after George MORLAND (1763-1804)
The First of September. Evening.
London: Published by T. Simpson and Darling & Thompson, 1 September 1796. Colour printed mezzotint with added hand colour. In good condition with the exception of a skillfully repaired lower margin. Image size: 17 5/8 x 23 1/4 inches. Sheet size: 19 1/4 x 24 inches.
A lovely colour printed impression of this charming print by Ward after the famous genre painter George Morland.
A marvellous Morland depiction of English country life, outside a comfortable pub a poacher has just sold a rabbit to the tavern-keeper. He discusses the rabbit with a patron, who is resting his rifle on his ample legs, while his daughter and several dogs look on. Meanwhile, a most glorious sunset is taking place in the west. 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 idyllic 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. In fact, Ward's engravings after Morland are some of the most beautiful prints of the period; skillfully capturing the emotional appeal of Morland's work.
Le Blanc IV, pp.177-8, no.122.