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The WreckersEnlarge image

The Wreckers, c. 1790-1799

George Morland
British, 1763 - 1804
oil on canvas
150.4 x 206.4 cm
Purchased 1928
National Gallery of Canada (no. 3565)

The shipwreck - at sea and in its aftermath on shore - was a favourite subject of Morland. Here, on the morning after the storm, with the battered ship still visible in the distance, a group of wreckers collect the jetsam, the cargo that was cast overboard to lighten the ship's load in time of distress. Morland began his painting career producing moralizing domestic pictures that were later popularized in mezzotint prints, but he eventually shifted to landscape painting.

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