Albert Joseph Moore

Albert Joseph Moore ( born September 4, 1841 in York, † September 25, 1893 in London) was an English painter of the late 19th century and an important representative of the Academic art and aestheticism. Moore is best known for his portrayal of female characters in antique-like environment.


Moore was the youngest of fourteen children of the artist William Moore, a considerable reputation in the North of England enjoyed as a painter of portraits and landscapes in the first half of the 19th century. Already in his childhood showed Moore a great affection for art and decided early, encouraged by his father and his siblings to pursue a career as an artist. Four of his brothers, including John Collingham Moore and Henry Moore, were also later artists. Henry Moore (painter) achieved high reputation as a marine painter.

His first exhibited works were two drawings which were shown in 1857 at the Royal Academy of Arts. A year later, he enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools as a student, but after a few months he decided to work freelance. In the following years, Moore made ​​numerous paintings and drawings, and has been represented at several exhibitions. In 1859, he traveled with the architect William Eden Nesfield, a son of William Andrews Nesfield, to France. Between 1858 and 1870 he was also active as a decoration and church painter. In 1863 he created a series of wall decorations at Combe Abbey, in 1865 and 1866, the mural The Last Supper and The Feeding of the Five Thousand in the Church of St Alban in Rochdale and 1868, the tempera panel A Greek Play for the proscenium of the Queen's Theatre in Long Acre.

The end of 1862 Moore traveled with his brother John Collingham for five months to Rome and finished there at the beginning of 1863, with Elijah 's Sacrifice his first large canvas. It was two years later exhibited at the Royal Academy. 1865, Moore met and James McNeill Whistler to know and became friends. During this time he also met Frederic Leighton. 1866 showed the Academy with The Shulamite Relating the Glories of King Solomon to her Maidens an even bigger picture of Moore. Also on display at the exhibition this year were the two images Apricots and Pomegranates.

Since Moore worked mainly in watercolor, he was elected in 1884 an associate member of the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours, and exhibited regularly with the Company. Although Moore had issued almost annually at the Royal Academy from 1857, he was never elected a member. Moore led a bohèmehaften lifestyle at his home in Holland Park in London, which he shared with many cats. The Loves of the Winds and the Seasons was his last painting he completed a few days before his death. Moore died at the age of 52 years at his studio in the Spenser Street in the Westminster area of London.


Albert Joseph Moore's early works, such as Elijah 's Sacrifice were influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites. The mid-1860s he turned under the influence of Elgin Marbles to the classic style. His stay in Rome 1862/63 could have contributed significantly to this change in style, since his works clearly show that he had worked intensively with antique sculptures. His works The Shulamite Relating the Glories of King Solomon to her Maidens, Apricots and Pomegranates are the first works created entirely Moore in this style.

He specialized in the following years to elaborate and sometimes transparent clothed female figures, individually or strictly arranged in groups. In these images, Moore avoided any narrative element, but strove exclusively decorative arrangements of figures, patterns and colors. His art was essentially determined by classical subjects and academic achievement. However, Moore was not an archaeological painter and also did not pay his pictures show a reconstruction of ancient life like his fellow painter Lawrence Alma- Tadema. He lived rather artistic in the world of his own creations.

During this time, Moore and Whistler influenced each other. As Moore Whistler was a colorist of great sensitivity, which he used his colors more intense. Moore and Whistler were soon among the leading figures of aestheticism. In addition, Moore was also an excellent portraitist, as his lesser-known paintings William Connal, Jr, of Solsgirth and William Moore Jr Esq show.

Among his most famous paintings include:

  • The Shulamite (1864 )
  • Apricots (1866 )
  • Pomegranates (1866 )
  • The Quartette ( 1869)
  • Sea Gulls (1871 )
  • Follow- my- leader ( 1873)
  • Shells (1874 )
  • Beads ( 1875)
  • Topaz (1879 )
  • Rose Leaves (1880 )
  • Yellow Marguerites (1881 )
  • Blossoms (1881 )
  • Dreamers (1882 )
  • Reading Aloud (1884 )
  • Silver ( 1886)
  • Midsummer (1887 )
  • A Riverside (1888 )
  • A Summer Night ( 1890)
  • Lightning and Light (1892 )
  • An Idyll (1893 )
  • An Open Book
  • The Loves of the Winds and the Seasons (1893 )

Numerous pictures are now in public collections, including Blossoms in the Tate Gallery of British Art, A Summer Night in the Liverpool Walker Art Gallery, Dreamers in the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, beads at the National Gallery of Scotland and An Open Book in Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington.