Published to coincide with the exhibition 'George Morland: in the Margins' (18 March - 11 July 2015).
Edited by Nicholas Grindle. With essays by David Alexander, Kerry Bristol, Sue Ecclestone, Nicholas Grindle, and Martin Purvis.
Published by The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, March 2015.
99pp plus cover, 267 x 207 mm
58 colour images (inc. cover), 7 black and white images
George Morland: Art, Traffic and Society in Late Eighteenth Century England looks at the life and work of popular painter George Morland (1763–1804), whose remarkable talent, prodigious output, bohemian lifestyle and early death earned him lasting notoriety.
Morland was the most infamous artist in Britain at the time of his death in 1804. His paintings enjoyed a stellar reputation, which was enhanced by stories about his fabulous earnings, prodigal spending, legendary drinking, and staggering debt. He was renowned for his associations with smugglers, gypsies and pugilists, as well as his constant attempts to evade his creditors. His best work is breathtaking in its ambition and execution, while the popularity of his drawings, paintings, and the prints after his work rose throughout his lifetime. Within months of his death, no fewer than four books had been published packed with anecdotes – many apocryphal – about his life and work. No other artist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries commanded such a profile.
Morland was reputed to have painted thousands of canvases and made hundreds of drawings. But in spite of his immense popular and critical stature, recent scholarly attention has been patchy, and this is the first publication to seriously review the artist in over thirty years. It includes five new essays which use recent perspectives in historical geography and studies of print and exhibition culture to help us look in new ways at his work and practice, as well as catalogue entries that bring scholarship on his paintings up to date.