Henry Moore was a marine and landscape painter, watercolourist and etcher. He came from a Yorkshire family of painters. His father William Moore was a portrait and landscape painter and his oldest brother Edwin Moore was a watercolourist and teacher, William Junior a landscape painter and teacher, John Collingham Moore a child portraitist, and landscape and genre painter who worked in Rome with the 'Etruscan school', and his youngest brother Albert Joseph Moore an important painter and pastellist of the Aesthetic Movement. Henry Moore had fourteen brothers and sisters in all. He married Mary Bollans.
Moore studied under his father, as well as at the York School of Design and Royal Academy Schools. His early works, landscapes and rural scenes, show the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites and the teachings of Ruskin. He and his brothers used to make sketching trips into the country in order to study nature first hand. In 1857 he turned to marine painting for which he made his name. His seascapes are often compared to those of J. C. Hook but his technique was closer to that of William MacTaggart. With his fluid brushwork and bold colouring, he attempted to capture something of the movement of the waves and the mood of the open sea.
Moore was an active exhibitor, showing in London from 1853 to 1895 at the Royal Academy, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Water Colour Society, British Institution, Grosvenor Gallery, New Gallery, Fine Art Society, Dudley Gallery, Baillie Gallery, Arthur Tooth and Sons Gallery, Agnew and Sons Gallery and Society of British Artists, a society which elected JW its President in 1886. He also exhibited at the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Royal Hibernian Society, Royal Scottish Academy, Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, Leicester Gallery and Manchester City Art Gallery, as well as in numerous European venues. His Cats Paws off the Land was bought by the Chantrey Bequest in 1885. He joined the membership of the Royal Water Colour Society in 1880 and of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1883. In 1885 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy, becoming a full member in 1893. He was also a member of The Arts Club from 1881 to 1895.
JW saw Moore as a rival in his painting of subjectless seascapes (see for example Arrangement in blue and silver - The Great Sea (M.1043)). The Clearness after Rain (1887; Private Collection) gained Moore the Légion d'honneur at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. However, according to the Pennells, Moore told G. A. Holmes that JW 'put more atmosphere in his pictures than any man living'. F. G. Prange mentions to JW in December 1893 that Moore was helping him to arrange an exhibition of the work of his late brother Albert Moore (#05038).
Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs ,Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Wood, Christopher, The Dictionary of Victorian Painters, Woodbridge, 1971; Johnson, J., and A. Gruetzner, The Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980; Maas, Jeremy, The Victorian Art World in Photographs, London, 1984; Dorment, Richard, and Margaret F. MacDonald, James McNeill Whistler, London, 1994; Morgan, Hilary, 'Moore', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, http://www.groveart.com (accessed 29 January 2003).