Sunshine and showers signed 'Fred Morgan' (lower right) oil on canvas 93 x 66cm (36 5/8 x 26in).
PROVENANCE: Sale, Christie's London, 1 June 1917, lot 76, price £32.10 Private collection
Fred Morgan had a very successful career painting children at play; even in the rain the children he paints are enjoying themselves. Harvesting, fruit picking and children holding baskets of apples were a recurring part of Morgan's repertoire. Pears Soap reproduced The Garden of Eden as a popular print with their 1891 Christmas Annual. The work shows an elder sister lifting her younger brother to reach the ripe apples. Morgan also painted playful carrying games like Steady (RA, 1892) and Her Constant Care (Institute of Painters in Oils, 1894).
As with Morgan's Watching and Waiting (RA, 1889) the present lot, which can be dated to the 1890s, shows two young girls left to shelter under an umbrella. The two models also appear in Catch Hold! (1891, Institute of Painters in Oils), where the sister is walking on stepping stones across a stream while carrying her young brother on piggy-back. Another young child, holding a basket, is being encouraged to 'catch hold' and be guided over the stepping stones. The following year, the models appear again in Don't Be Frightened! (RA, 1892): '... an elder sister standing knee-deep in the sea, holding a little naked, golden-haired child in both her arms, the fair, delicate flesh is strong relief against her dark bathing gown, exhibited at last year's Academy, enjoyed a wholly legitimate success.'1 Both of these, together with a few other works around this date, were painted whilst Morgan was staying, with his second wife Mary, at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight.
There is no record of Morgan exhibiting the present lot, which remained with the artist until he submitted it to auction in 1917.
1'Charles Lewis Hind, Black and White Handbook to the Royal Academy and New Gallery Pictures', London, 1893 p.38
We are grateful to Terry Parker for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.