Moore, Henry (1831-1895) by Scholes, Robert

Henry Moore (1831 – 1895) Henry Moore was born in York 1831, the second of thirteen sons of William Moore (1790-1851), and his wife Sarah, nee Collingham. He was educated in York, and received tuition in art from his father, before entering the RA Schools in 1853. He was an elder brother of the artist Albert Joseph Moore (1841-1893). He specialised in sea paintings, and Moore blue was a well-known term at the time. The large canvass creates a vivid image the limitless power and beauty of the sea. Moore’s Obituary in The Times (London), Monday 24th June 1895: Not only the Royal Academy, but English art in general has suffered a severe loss by the death of Mr H M Moore RA, which took place on Saturday at Margate. Mr Moore who had never completely recovered his health after the severe accident which occurred to him in 1893, had a paralytic stroke a few days ago and rapidly succumbed. By his death we lose an artist who divided with Mr Hook the foremost position as a painter of the sea, and a landscapist of a high order, though until the present year Mr Moore had not shown any landscape work for a long time past. He was born in 1831 at York, and was the son of the late William Moore, a portrait and landscape painter, and a brother of the late Albert Moore, the painter of decorative and quasi-classical figures and groups, whose beautiful though very limited art is still so eagerly admired and sought-after. Henry Moore’s early work was in landscape; and those who remember the exhibition of his works held some years ago at the Fine Art Society will recall the many cabinet pictures in which he rendered with singular truth and with a broad effectiveness, a variety of English inland scenes. A Scottish landscape of his, very strongly painted is in the present exhibition at the Royal Academy. For the past 15 or 20 years, however, Mr Moore’s studies had been almost exclusively given to the open sea, chiefly to the English Channel, which he painted with unflagging assiduity under every condition of light and wind. Very rarely did he allow the intrusion of any “subject”; unlike Mr Hook or Constable, or the Dutch painters or even Turner, he would scarcely tolerate a boat, much less a stretch of shore, with figures acting a story. His delight was in the sea itself and in atmosphere; on his cavases nihil est nisi pontus et aer. Having mastered wave-form in its immense variety, he set himself to paint the rollers of the mid-Channel or the quiet surface of the waters, or the little waves as they come rippling towards the shore, considering all of them as problems of light and colour as much as form and movement. His technical gift, his knowledge of his material, and what could or could not be done with paint was very great; and though it received late recognition at the hands of our own Academy it was readily welcomed on France, where Mr Moore’s work was greatly admired, and where he more than once received high distinction at exhibitions. If we remember right, he was awarded a medal of honour at the International Exhibition of 1899, together with only one or two other English painters. He was elected ARA in 1885 and RA in 1893. Mr Moore will be greatly missed by the art loving public and sincerely mourned by many friends. By his death and that of Mr Hogson the RA simultaneously loses two members whose places will, indeed, be difficult to fill.

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