Mar 10, 2011 - Sale 2239

Sale 2239 - Lot 6

Price Realized: $ 5,040
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
A CLASSIC MEZZOTINT (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) MORLAND, GEORGE. Slave Trade. Hand-colored mezzotint, 18x25-3/4 inches by J.R. Smith, after an oil painting by George Morland; matted and framed by Arthur Ackermann and Son with their labels on the reverse of the frame. London, 1791

Additional Details

the rare hand-colored version of a famous anti-slavery mezzotint. George Morland (1763-1804) English artist, engraver and picture restorer, was best known for his pastoral scenes of farms and animals. But in 1788, with strong anti-slavery sentiment in England, Morland produced an oil painting which he originally titled "Execrable Human Traffic." The scene of an African man torn from his family by European slavers became the model for John Raphael Smith's 1791 engraving "Slave Trade." The present work appeared in a large and popular edition, most of which were not colored. In the same year Smith engraved another of Morland's paintings, "African Hospitality (see lot 7). The appearance of both of these engravings coincided with William Wilberforce's presentation before Parliament, "An Abstract of the Evidence." These scenes, together with the notorious depiction of the hold of the slave ship Brook, helped bring the African slave trade to an end in 1807. Both of these mezzotints are discussed at length and depicted in "The Image of the Black in Western Art," Volume 4, pages 66-71 (Harvard University Press, 1989) and "Blind Memory" by Marcus Wood, page 36-38 (Manchester University Press, 2000). Provenance: Purchased by the consignor from the descendant of a gentleman who bought both engravings from the Ackermann Gallery in London in 1912.