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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
Art, Alcohol and a Lost Great
George Morland - a painting great - died on this street
Location: Eyre Street Hill, EC1
Description: George Morland (1763-1804) was an English painter of animals and rustic scenes.
At a very early age Morland produced sketches of remarkable promise, exhibiting some at the Royal Academy in 1773, when he was but ten years old, and continuing to exhibit at the Free Society of Artists in 1775 and 1776. But he produced even before that tender age, as his father kept a drawing which the boy had executed when he was but four years old, representing a coach and horses and two footmen.
The finest of Morland's pictures were executed between 1790 and 1794, and amongst them his picture of the inside of a stable, in Tate Britain, London, may be reckoned as a masterpiece. His works deal with scenes in rustic and homely life, depicted with purity and simplicity, and show much direct and instinctive feeling for nature.
And so to Eyre Street Hill, it was here on 19 October 1804 that he was arrested by a publican and conveyed to a 'sponging-house', where, in attempting to make a drawing which could be sold in discharge of the debt, he was seized with a fit which proved the beginning of brain fever. He died on 29 October 1804.