Children Fishing c1788 by British Painter George Morland (1763 – 1804); best known for his rustic scenes of landscapes, farms, smugglers and gypsies that were inspired by Dutch Golden Age Paintings
This is a charming illustration of five children; two boys and three girls that have gathered by the bank of a river to do some fishing amongst the tall trees and lush grass.
We see one boy in a green uniform with a tree branch in his hands, to which is affixed a length of string and a lead weight that he his trying to attach a hook to.
Beside him is the other boy that is breaking a branch off of a dead tree, so that he can also fashion a fishing pole.
Relaxing on the grass are the three girls, with one of them lying on her stomach holding a string in her left hand as she looks into water that the other part of the string is in trying to catch a fish.
While the other two girls, one lying on her side and the other sitting upright; with her hat cast off to her left on the ground, holding a water filled glass flask look at the tiny fish that are swimming in it.
This is a remastered digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image that is available as a canvas print online.
George was born in London, England on June 26, 1763 to British Portrait Painter Henry Robert Morland (1716-19 – 1797) and Jenny Lacam; and was the grandson of British Portrait Painter George Henry Morland (? – 1789).
He was the eldest of five children and began his artistic career at the age of three years old producing drawings which were copies pictures and plaster cast, and by the age of ten years became an honorary exhibitor of sketches at the Royal Academy of the Arts.
Seeing his sons immense talent, his father Henry in 1777 took full charge of his sons training and George began copying even more works of art to the benefit of his father’s profit.
His first work of art to be engraved occurred in 1780 and in 1781 he exhibited his first painting at the Royal Academy of the Arts; while in 1782 exhibited 26 works at the Free Society of Artists.
Though Morland had extreme talent and was a prolific producer of art his drinking life and poor choice in associates got the better of him and he was often in debt, doing his best to avoid creditors.
This finally led to him being arrested in 1799 where he was arrested and committed to the Kings Bench for three years; and upon his release in 1802, he spent the remaining two years of his life with his brother who owned a picture shop on Dean Street in Soho; as his work and health deteriorated, he finally died of brain fever on October 29, 1804.