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 also exhibited at the Academy from that date. He did not, however, exhibit exclusively at the RA, but also exhibited at the Portland Gallery from 1855 to 1860, at the Dudley Gallery, and in later life at the New Gallery. Henry Moore became an Associate of the Old Water-colour Society in 1876, and a full member in 1880. He was elected ARA in 1885, and a full Academician in 1893, at the age of sixty-two. Moore was a straightforward Yorkshireman and his lack of personal tact is likely to have been the cause of this rather late official recognition of his talent and standing.
Early in his artistic career Moore painted mainly landscapes, but from about 1870 onwards specialised in seascapes.
He was regarded as the leading English marine painter of his time. Moore’s knowledge of wave formation was unrivalled, and was gained by much first-hand study, involving both discomfort and, on occasion danger. His seascapes were mainly painted in the English Channel. Henry Moore’s picture “The Clearness after Rain” won him the Grand Prix at the Paris Exhibition of 1889. He was also invested with the Legion d’ Honeur. Moore was a master-colourist, and the French referred to his vivid blues as “Moore Bleau.”
In his marine painting, Moore was supreme, aiming for a truth to nature akin to that of the Pre-Raphaelites. To achieve this, he worked out his pictures on the spot, in one case to the point of suffering from severe rheumatism after insisting on painting a Yarmouth beach scene during a protracted gale. His oeuvre ranged across all sorts of seas – smooth and calm to violent and stormy, by the shore or on the high seas. His volume of work was prodigious – some 550 paintings shown at important exhibitions, including more than a hundred at the Royal Academy.
Moore’s pictures are in the collections of many of the great galleries, but are often stashed away. The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool contains his dramatic The Launch of the Lifeboat.
Henry Moore married in 1860 Mary, daughter of Robert Bollans of York, and they had two daughters. He lived in Hampstead, and died in Ramsgate in summer 1895.
Henry Moore was, of course, an elder brother of Albert Joseph Moore (1841-1893), the great aesthetic artist.
Link/cite this page
If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content.
Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "Henry Moore" https://englishhistory.net/victorian/famous-people/henry-moore/, February 17, 2022