The Sailor's Farewell, c. 1790
oil on canvas
58.9 x 44.7 cm
Permanent loan to the Winnipeg Art Gallery from the City of Winnipeg, A.A. Heaps Collection
The Sailor’s Farewell is one of two works in the WAG collection produced by the British landscape and genre painter George Morland. Described as rustic renderings of everyday life, Morland’s early work was influenced by his father Henry Morland, a respected engraver and genre painter, who served as his son’s mentor until his early twenties. As Morland became more interested in figure and genre scenes, the focus of his work began to shift, with the landscape becoming the backdrop for these rustic scenes, which often included groups of people involved in smuggling activities. In the WAG picture, young lovers are shown bidding farewell on the seashore, their elegant forms set against a dramatic stormy sky, which takes up two-thirds of the vertical composition.