Moore, Albert Joseph (DNB00)
|←Moorcroft, William||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 38
Moore, Albert Joseph
MOORE, ALBERT JOSEPH (1841-1893), painter, born at York on 4 Sept. 1841, was thirteenth son and fourteenth child of William Moore [q. v.], portrait-painter, and Sarah Collingham, his wife. Several of his numerous brothers were educated as artists, including Henry Moore, R.A., the well-known sea painter. Albert Moore was educated at Archbishop Holgate's School, and also at St. Peter's School at York, receiving at the same time instruction in drawing and painting from his father. He made such progress that he gained a medal from the Department of Science and Art at Kensington in May 1853, before completing his twelfth year. After his father's death in 1851 Moore owed much to the care and tuition of his brother, John Collingham Moore [see under Moore, William]. In 1855 he came to London and attended the Kensington grammar school till 1858, when he became a student in the art school of the Royal Academy. He had already exhibited there in 1857, when he sent 'A Goldfinch' and 'A Woodcock.' In the two following years he sent more natural history studies, but in 1861 he made a new venture with two sacred subjects, 'The Mother of Sisera looked out of a Window,' and 'Elijah running to Jezreel before Ahab's Chariot.' He exhibited other sacred pictures in 1862 and 1865. Meanwhile Moore had given signs elsewhere of the remarkable skill which he afterwards displayed as a decorative artist. After designing pictorial figures for architects in ceilings, altar-pieces, &c., he about 1860 painted a ceiling at Shipley, fol- lowed by another at Croxteth Park, Lancashire. He spent the winter of 1862-3 in Rome, and in the latter year executed a wall painting in the kitchen of Combe Abbey for the Earl of Craven. In 1864 he exhibited at the Royal Academy a group in fresco, entitled 'The Seasons,' which attracted notice from the graceful pose of the limbs in the figures, and the delicate folds of the draperies. In 1865 Moore exhibited at the Royal Academy 'The Marble Seat, the first of a long series of purely decorative pictures, with which his name will always be associated. Henceforth he devoted himself entirely to this class of painting, and every picture was the result of a carefully thought out and elaborated harmony in pose and colour, having as its basis the human form, studied in the true Hellenic spirit. The chief charm of Moore's pictures lay in the delicate low tones of the diaphanous, tissue-like garments in which the figures were draped. The names attached to the pictures were generally suggested by the completed work, and rarely represented any preconceived idea in the artist's mind. Among them were such titles as 'A Painter's Tribute to Music,' 'Shells,' 'The Reader,' 'Dreamers,' 'Battledore,' Shuttlecock,' 'Azaleas,' &c. In so limited a sphere of art Moore found his admirers among the few true connoisseurs of art rather than among the general public. His pictures were frequently sold off the easel before completion, but it was not till late in his life that he obtained what maybe called direct patronage. He executed other important decorative works, like 'The Last Supper' and some paintings for a church at Rochdale, the hall at Claremont, the proscenium of the Queen's Theatre, Long Acre, and a frieze of peacocks for Mr. Lehmann. Moore was of an independent disposition, and relied solely on his own judgment in matters both social and artistic. His somewhat outspoken views proved a bar to his admission into the ranks of the Royal Academy, for which he was many years a candidate, and where his works were long a chief source of attraction. Though suffering from a painful and incurable illness Moore worked up to the last, completing by sheer courage and determination an important picture just before his death, which occurred on 25 Sept. 1893, at 2 Spenser Street, Victoria Street, Westminster. He was buried at Highgate cemetery. His last picture, 'The Loves of the Seasons and the Winds,' is one of his most elaborate and painstaking works ; it was painted for Mr. McCulloch, and Moore wrote three stanzas of verse to explain the title. His work is now represented in many important public collections, such as those of Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and elsewhere. An exhibition of his works was held at the Grafton Gallery, London, in 1894.
[Obituary notices : Athenæum and Pall Mall Gazette, 30 Sept. 1893, Westminster Gazette, 4 Oct. 1893, &c. ; The Portfolio, i. 5 ; Champlin and Perkins's Cyclopaedia of Painters and Painting; Scribner's Magazine, December 1891 ; private information.]