• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7594

    Victorian and Traditionalist Pictures

    5 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 61

    John Morgan (1823-1886)

    The Melée

    Price Realised  


    John Morgan (1823-1886)
    The Melée
    signed with monogram (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    8½ x 17 7/8 in. (21.6 x 45.4 cm.)

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    John Morgan was a successful painter of contemporary and historial genre, who specialised in narrative canvases incorporating many figures. He often painted children whose disparate activities - in a school yard or classroom - gave him opportunity to explore the subtle satire for which he achieved renown. His most famous works include The Village School in Bedfordshire (1869; see Christie's, London, 26 November 2003, lot 33) and The Fight (see Christie's, London, The Forbes Collection of Victorian Pictures and Works of Art, 19 February 2003, lot 16).

    Morgan was inspired by his contemporaries Thomas Webster (1800-1886) and William Powell Frith (1819-1909). Although his art aimed to charm, works such as The Jury and The Appeal against Income Tax (both 1862) convey political messages in a palliative way.

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    with Continental Galleries, Montreal.
    with W.H. Patterson, London.