Francois Davide Soiron after George Morland
St. JAMES'S PARK [&] A TEA GARDEN
22.5 x 18.5 inches
A magnificent pair of colour printed stipple plate engravings by F. D. Soiron after the paintings of George Morland; published in London in 1790. These prints are engraved in an oval format that was very fashionable at the time.
Francoise Davide Soiron was an accomplished Swiss stipple engraver who was born in Geneva but came to work in both London and Paris towards the end of the eighteenth century. This pair of engravings represent the apogee of his career and are considered two of the finest colour printed, genre stipple engravings of the age.
They depict two charming scenes from the royal parks of London. In St. James's Park an off duty guardsman from the nearby barracks leans nonchalantly upon a bench and chats to an aristocratic lady whose children have come to drink milk offered for sale by a comely milkmaid and her heifer. In A Tea Garden a similarly upper class family have established themselves in the shade of an oak tree where they are happily partaking of afternoon tea. Three generations are in attendance and the children can be seen playing with their toys and feeding cake to their dog.
George Morland (1763-1804) was an English artist who rose quickly to fame in the latter half of the eighteenth century but soon found himself encumbered with debts and died in squalor in 1804. He is best remembered for his rustic scenes that typically depict an idealized village life but in these paintings turned his hand to the more fashionable bon ton of London.