George Morland Rabbiting 1792

Artwork details

George Morland 1763–1804
Date 1792
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 864 x 1168 mm
frame: 1112 x 1410 x 140 mm
Acquisition Bequeathed by John Travers Smith 1897
On loan to Pinacoteca do Estado (São Paulo, Brazil)

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The rabbit warren was a staple part of the rural economy, and an important feature on most country estates. This scene shows the tense moment as the country folk wait for the rabbits to emerge from a burrow, having been flushed out by ferrets; the eager lurcher is poised for the chase that will ensue.
Morland is perhaps best known as a painter of picturesque scenes from everyday rural life. His genre subjects occasionally have a sporting theme, yet he rarely attempted the conventional ones of hunting or horse-racing. This is somewhat surprising as it is known that Morland himself enjoyed riding to hounds and on several instances rode as a gentleman jockey.

August 2004

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