(b. 1763, London, d. 1804, London)


English painter. He was an exponent of picturesque rustic genre painting who based himself on Dutch and Flemish 17-century models such as Brouwer or Teniers. Like them, he refused to work for individual patrons and preferred to sell through an agent, thus altering the whole basis of patronage in 18th-century England. His very numerous works were popularized through engravings, many of which were executed by William Ward, brother of James Ward, Morland's own brother-in-law, and imitator.

The son of a painter, Henry Morland (c. 1730-1797), he exhibited drawings at the Royal Academy at the age of 10 (1773), and his first oil painting was shown there in 1781. From then on he lived wildly, and in 1799 was arrested as a French spy while actually on the run from his creditors; after which he was in the King's Bench Prison until 1802. He died in prison after producing an enormous amount of scamped work to pay his debts. His reputation immediately declined and his place was taken by Wilkie. Among his most purely Dutch works are the Industry and Idleness (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh), while the Stable (1791, National Gallery, London) is one of his best rustic subjects.