|Portrait of George Dawe as a child, circa 1784, by George Morland. |
Gift of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, 1936. Te Papa (1936-0012-96)
George Dawe, the child in this portrait, is very likely one and the same to the English painter George Dawe (1781-1829); the timing is right for Dawe to have been a small child around 1784, and his father Philip Dawe was a longtime and staunch friend to Morland during the latter's checkered life. Dawe later wrote "The Life of George Morland," in which he reports the following:
Some nobleman was desirous of giving Morland a commission for a picture, but when the artist learned that the would-be patron was a lord, he exclaimed: "Damn lords! I shall paint for no lords! Tom, bring up Rattler and the puppy!" (p. xvii)
Dawe's book makes for sympathetic but clear-eyed reading - and you can see it here.