Son of a London artist and art dealer, Morland showed artistic talent while still a child, and was apprenticed to his father for seven years before becoming a student at the Royal Academy. In 1786 he married the sister of the well-known artist-engraver brothers James and William Ward. William Ward, meanwhile, married Morland’s sister. Morland painted prolifically, his subjects being largely of country life and rural sports. A great many were commissioned directly for the print market and were expertly engraved by his brother-in-law William or by the celebrated John Raphael Smith. Morland’s sybaritic lifestyle, however, ensured that he was constantly short of money. He died in a debtors’ prison in 1804.