‘A Family Party’, large English watercolour painting by Morgan

By Morgan, Frederick (English, 1847-1927)


By the acclaimed English artist Fred Morgan, this charming painting casts a tender familial scene within an idyllic pastoral landscape.


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This superb Victorian painting is a celebration of middle-class family life, and captures a heartfelt moment between a mother and her children.

The painting depicts a mother and her three children, sitting in a pastoral exterior. Her young son and daughter are the focal point of the scene, pictured holding a basket of three adorable puppies that were likely just born to the dog that rests at the mother’s feet. The boy and girl look up at their mother in amazement, whilst their mother smiles down at them. A sweet baby sits on the mother’s knee, clapping her hands in delight. The subject is truly charming, and the artist captures the sense of joy and wonder at these new arrivals to the family. As with several of Morgan’s paintings, the model for the mother is his own wife, Mary.

The scene is set in an abstract countryside patio, with the only other items being the mother’s large rattan chair and the ornate picnic rug that the figures stand on. The patio is shaded by dark green trees to the left, whilst a flower-encrusted wall in the right middle ground separates the figures from the tranquil sea behind. The pale pink light in the background suggests the scene takes place in the dusky early evening.

The painting is rendered in the artist’s individual style, which combines the academicism of contemporary genre scenes with the softness of the watercolour medium that gives a more Impressionistic touch.

Ensconced in a carved giltwood frame, the painting is signed to the lower left ‘Fred Morgan’, as well as titled and signed to the slip 'A Family Party. / Fred Morgan. R.I.'. The artist Fred Morgan is known for his depictions of children like this painting in the Mayfair Gallery collection. He depicted idealised landscapes, filled with familial vignettes that celebrated the unspoilt innocence of upper-middle-class family life. He was trained by his father, the artist John Morgan (R. B. A.)

With its charming subject, this wonderful genre scene showcases Morgan’s skill at capturing treasured moments in the life of a child.

Panel: Height 52cm, width 72cm
Frame: Height 80cm, width 98cm, depth 6cm


Phillips Auction, London, 5 November 1996, Lot 110


Artist / Maker
By Morgan, Frederick (English, 1847-1927)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Figurative Art, Victorian
Giltwood, Paper, Watercolour


80 cm / 31.5 inches
98 cm / 38.6 inches
6 cm / 2.4 inches


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