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|Description||(Updated, January 2016) The painter George Morland (1763-1804) largely specialized in rural landscape subjects and characters, including some coastal and shipwreck compositions, of which this is one of several on the popular topic of smuggling. Morland often repeated compositions, in variable quality, and whether this canvas is by him or a good contemporary copyist is not yet entirely certain. The prime version, however, appears to be one of the same size and rather stronger colour and handling in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, dated 1792: this also seems to have been the basis of the related by James Ward, published in 1793 (see PAH7348). At least two smaller versions are also known, one on canvas in the National Trust collection at Mottistone Manor, Isle of Wight (61 x 74 cm) and the other more clearly a copy on board by another hand in the North Lincolnshire Museums collection (54 x 64 cm). Allowing minor differences of landscape outline and cloud form, all four paintings are identical in the elements shown: a small boat being unloaded, with a few barrels onto the rocky shore in the foreground, where a man is moving them onto a horse and cart. Other boats are at sea and perhaps are meant to represent other smugglers. In the late 18th century and early 19th century a scene like this fulfilled the audience’s appetite for romantic and adventurous narratives, also reflected in contemporary literature.|
|Date made||circa 1793|
|Credit||National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Macpherson Collection|
|Materials||oil on canvas|
|Measurements||Painting: 1003 x 1410 mm; Frame: 1023 mm x 1439 mm|
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