Heather Yeomans


George Morland was an eighteenth century artist, who was very popular not only during his lifetime, but in the following hundred years as well. He then fell out of popularity after changes in fashion and trends following the First World War. His paintings contain scenes of rural communities, families, animals, travellers, seaside communities as well as the slave trade, they cover a wide range of eighteenth century social types. Morland lived a ‘bohemian’ lifestyle which allowed him to get to know the people he depicted, living within the communities. His paintings have been analysed in detail in only a few texts from the last fifty years, whereas he had numerous books and articles written on his life and works in the immediate years after his death and into the early twentieth century. A lot of scholarly work on Morland has been based on his biography rather than more modern research methods, which have only been applied in a few texts since 1980. I will be using these texts, new and old to analyse paintings which have been well researched as well as those which have often been overlooked. I hope to show that Morland represented a wide range of subjects, that his images are more than simple images of rural peasants and that they deserve more scholarly attention.

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