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George Morland specialised in scenes of cottages and country inns. He was a great success in the 1790s. In contrast to the more simplistic and sentimental views of the nineteenth century, his work sometimes acknowledged the rougher side of country living, and even the distinctions of class and status which underpinned rural society.

Here, a gentleman traveller is leaving an inn, and is paying the landlady. The contrast between the well-fed pig and the gentleman’s pedigree spaniel emphasises the social division between the two figures.

February 2004