Lady Lever Art Gallery Artwork of the Month – September, 2006
‘The Piggery’, by George Morland
About the artwork
George Morland, whose pictures can be seen in both the Lady Lever and Walker collections,was arguably the most genuinely popular of late eighteenth-century British artists. During his brief life, according to his contemporary biographers he may have produced as many as 4000 paintings. However this and many other highly-coloured “facts” about him need to be treated
This painting is a fine example of Morland’s characteristic rural subjects – rustic life with plump animals and contented rosy-cheeked peasants that presents an idyllic rather than accurate view of the English countryside. Pigs have had a mixed place in art – appearing as symbols of gluttony, sin or uncleanliness in religious art, or, in contrast like here, as part of a scene of rustic plenitude.