A Tea Garden
George Morland was an English painter born on 26 June 1763 in London. He was best known for his rustic scenes of farming, hunting, smugglers, gypsies and his rich, textured landscapes. Morland's most popular works were painted specifically for the print trade. This scene of a cozy middle-class ease is set in Ranelagh Gardens where the public could take tea after an afternoon's walk. Its companion 'St James's Park' (Mellon collection) shows a similar family drinking the milk that could be bought by promenaders on the Mall. The pair was first engraved in 1790 and several times thereafter, remaining hugely popular well into the nineteenth century. Coloured and framed - sometimes very elaborately - such prints formed part of the interior decor of innumerable better-off households (-information taken from https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/morland-the-tea-garden-t00055). In this particular work a family of eight centers around a table, taking tea. Multiple generations are reflected in this one scene. In the foreground two young children are focused on a spaniel vying for a treat, an elderly gentleman sits patiently holding a cane in his left hand, a younger gentleman stands offering a heavily shrouded matriarchal figure a plate, a young mother sits patiently as she dandles an infant on her knee and a youth stands behind the crowd pouring water from a kettle into a tea pot. The family scene is strengthened by small details, such as a toy horse and a discarded hat laying on the ground. In the background a pool, or a pond, is depicted with a family of three strolling its parameter. Each member of the party are finely dressed in the fashions of the period, providing an air of prosperity. The park landscape is accentuated by towering trees, and sculptural details in the background. The oval print is wreathed with a thin bordering line. The following text are printed around the curvature "Printed by G. Morland." and "Engraved by F. D. Sovron". The title "A Tea Garden" is surrounded by embellished lines, and is centered beneath the illustration. Additional text, in smaller print, details the following information "London Published Jan 1790 by T. Gaugain No 9 Manor Street Chelsey"