BARNARD, William after James WARD
London: Published by William Barnard, 2 April 1799. Colour printed mezzotint with additional hand-colouring. Image size (including text): 17 3/4 x 23 5/8 inches. Sheet size: 20 x 25 1/4 inches.
A lovely impression of Barnard's famous genre print 'Disobedience Detected' after a moralizing painting by James Ward.
James Ward was one of the most noted artists of his day, his individual style and superior skill distinguished him from his contemporaries, and his outstanding work influenced the development of British art. Considered to be one of the most important animal painters of his generation, Ward also produced portraits, landscapes, genre and history paintings. He began his career as an engraver, studying under his brother William, who later went on to engrave many of his paintings.
The "disobedience" has to do with the bird's nest, baby birds within, that the little boy in red is holding. The boy in red, the oldest girl who stands blushing in the middle and the stern, commanding grandmother, tapping the Bible with her forefinger are the most interesting characters in this drama, and interestingly, the grandmother's wrath doesn't seem to effect the boy in red very much, while the eldest daughter seems devastated.
C.R. Grundy James Ward p.70, no.31.