Henry Garland was best known as a landscape and animal painter who was born at Winchester and was the father of Valentine Thomas Garland, a painter of animals and brother of William Garland, who painted domestic subjects. He spent most of his career living in the London area and later moved to Leatherhead, Surrey.
A large part of Garland's artistic life was centred upon the painting of domestic scenes, figure subjects and landscapes. These are quite typical Victorian subjects with titles such as “Clean your Boots, Sir?” and “A Convenient Nap” and constitute a greater part of his exhibited work. During this time he had a parallel career, which was painting views in Scotland and he is particularly famous for his renditions of highland cattle in their native surroundings. He was noted for his accurate depictions of cattle being driven through Scottish glens and was able to convey a sense of movement in his cattle which was much admired. Many of Garland's contemporaries tended to paint their highland cattle in static poses but it was this combination of movement set in the grandeur of the landscape which set his work apart. His colouring and lighting effects were no less spectacular, especially since some of his work was executed on a grand scale.
Garland exhibited widely including 32 works at the Royal Academy, London; 12 at the British Institute; 67 at the Royal Society of British Artists at the Suffolk Street Galleries; 1 at the Royal Society of Painters in Water-Colours; 1 at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; 4 at the Manchester City Art Gallery; 6 at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters; and 1 at Arthur Tooth.
Henry Garland's paintings are to be found in the museums and art galleries of York, Leicester and Sunderland and also in the collection of the Middlesex Cricket Club at Lords.