About this artwork

This moralising genre scene is typical of Morland’s work of the 1780s. His aim of highlighting the moral shortcomings of domestic life shows the influence of William Hogarth (1697-1764). A notoriously heavy drinker and debtor, Morland spent the final years of his life enduring intermittent bouts in prison and eventually died from alcoholism aged 41. Morland’s flamboyant lifestyle became the subject of four anecdotal biographies immediately after his death. This painting is paired with ‘The Comforts of Industry’ (NG 1835), also in the collection.

  • title:
    The Miseries of Idleness
  • accession number:
    NG 1836
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    Unknown
  • measurements:
    31.60 x 37.30 cm (framed: 46.00 x 51.70 x 5.50 cm)
  • credit line:
    Presented by Alexander and Lady Margaret Shaw, later Lord and Lady Craigmyle 1935