WARD, William after George MORLAND
A Carriers Stable
London: Published by T. Simpson, 9 April 1793. Mezzotint. Proof before title. In good condition with the exception of being laid down. Skillfully mended tears. Image size (including text): 17 5/8 x 23 1/2 inches. Sheet size: 20 3/8 x 25 3/4 inches.
A rare proof before title of this fine rural scene after Morland, the master of English genre painting.
A wonderful rural genre scene in which love darts out and is acknowledged in an unlikely location, while the horses eat and a fellow worker snoozes. The young couple holds hands and share a long loving gaze beside an open stable door that seems to symbolize unconfined happiness and new possibilities. The whole story is rendered in a simple, understated way, in the which the feelings and implications are latent. There is nothing comic, critical or condescending in the artist's rendition, the theme of which could hardly be more simple or universal. 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.