‘African hospitality’

‘African Hospitality’ is a print by a celebrated engraver, John Raphael Smith (1752 – 1812), after a painting by his brother-in-law, the artist George Morland. The print was published in 1791 as a companion to another called ‘The Slave Trade’. The image depicts the kindness of Africans ministering to a shipwrecked European family (in contrast to the brutality of the Europeans separating a family in ‘The Slave Trade’). George Morland was better known as a British painter of landscapes and sentimental rural scenes. This image was probably inspired by the work of a poet friend who wrote on the wrongs of slavery. The focus is in keeping with the other work of the artist, with a strong emotional element but, despite the growing popularity of the abolitionist movement, the image did not sell as well as his rural scenes.

© National Museums Liverpool

Accession reference: National Museums Liverpool, Maritime Collection 1991.389.1