When the Ladies were not yet Ministers ,
that is Servants ,
but indeed stood their Ground well everyday
Morland, George (1763 London 1804). Recruit deserted. The disillusionment of the other day finds again the young farmer recruited by beer the previous day under the marital bed threatened by a sword, but defended by the housewife against the blood-hounds by brandished besom. Mezzotint by George Keating (Ireland 1762 – London 1842) printed in color and additionally colored. 1791. Inscribed: Painted by G. Morland. / Engrav’d by G. Keating., otherwise as above. 21⅞ × 17⅞ in (55.7 × 45.3 cm).
The Recruit or Deserter II. – Salaman-Holme p. 40; Richardson p. 148; Morland Graphic Collection in the British Museum, div. 2, portfolio I, 2 ( “fine” ); Nagler, Keating, 8.
The action sheet
of the 4-sheet set equally rare as atmospheric
( “… belongs to the supreme achievement of English mezzotint engraving at all”,
Thieme-Becker ) from the great period of English romanticism for the pictorial culmination of which Morland stands and for his own zenith the Deserter set together with a few others :
“ In 1791 … we have the beginning of that really strong ‘Morland style’ which the public know and love … Again, in four engravings … by Keating, we obtain a specimen of Morland’s power of telling a story in four pictures … ‘When the four plates of the Deserter were published,’ says Dawe, ‘a single dealer immediately gave an order for nine dozen sets …’ Dawe considers that Morland reached his zenith about the year 1790: ‘he was then able to paint whatever he chose …’ Certainly the engravings of his paintings issued from 1788 to 1797 are marvellous in their number, excellence, and variety, and this may be considered the period of his greatest strength ”
(Richardson, George Morland, 1895, SS. 42 + 45). – And Salaman Holme :
“ In George Keating Ireland sent us
one of the most masterly mezzotinters
of his day … But it is as an interpreter of Morland that Keating is seen at his very best, Children playing at Soldiers being a delicious gem,
while scarcely less admirable are …
and the four plates of the Deserter .”
With the address of John Raphael Smith, Court Engraver to the Prince of Wales and himself “the most splendid technician of mezzotint engraving” during its best decades whose special attention as engraver as well as publisher was directed to the works of Morland who was friendly bound up with him.
The quality as color print colored by hand only additionally unknown to Richardson, but as such a manner made out elsewhere, too.
On strong wove paper watermarked as follows: typographic two lines + little house with bird on the gable and inside the house over the door, here with four-leaf clover in its bill. The house-bird motif within a larger watermark also at Ward’s “Travellers” after Morland published by Simpson same year.
Uniformly browned, but three sides with about 1.5 + below 3 cm broad margin as worth emphasizing in case of the mezzotintos which often are trimmed hard. – Below in the free plate field and margin an old repaired paper loss up to 2.5-4.5 cm and a quite minimal loss in the most outer left margin.
Offer no. 14,400 / EUR 970. / export price EUR 922. (c. US$ 1132.) + shipping
– – Deserter taking leave of his Wife. The parting in handcuffs before the cottage, consoled by the mate, cheered up by the unloved comrades. As before. 21⅞ × 17⅞ in (55.5 × 45.5 cm).
Plate 3 of the set or The Great Promise. – Without Smith’s address. – At the sides mostly with 1.5, above with 2 + below with 3 cm broad margin. – Uniformly browned as before, but without paper losses.
Offer no. 14,401 / EUR 1070. / export price EUR 1017. (c. US$ 1249.) + shipping
– – Deserter Pardon’d. Charm and good sense return the man to the charming young wife and the daddy to the little daughter. That is the first is worthy a thankful prostration before the commander. Behind the group the comrades of yesterday, the landscape atmospherically. As before. 21⅞ × 17¾ in (55.5 × 45.2 cm).
Salaman-Holme plate CVII. – Plate 4 of the set or
a viva to the domestic mate.
Without Smith’s address. – At the sides with 1.5, else with 2-2,7 cm broad margin. Otherwise as 14,401.
Offer no. 14,402 / EUR 1175. / export price EUR 1116. (c. US$ 1370.) + shipping
“ Thanks for shipping the print. It has arrived here in excellent shape. Happy holidays ”
(Mr. H. A. P., December 12, 2001)