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Morland's most popular works were painted specifically for the print trade. This scene of cosy 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.

August 2004