As a young man, John Moore (1820-1902), was apprenticed as both a plumber and a signmaker, and only painted as a hobby for many years. He was first listed as a professional artist in Ipswich, near the east coast of England, in1871. He is known as “John Moore of Ipswich” for his attachment to the historic town, said to be England’s oldest town. His style was greatly influenced by previous famous artists of the area, including Gainsborough. The author of “The Dictionary of Victorian Painters,” Christopher Wood, writes that Moore “(p)ainted in the style of Constable…in an attractive, but sometimes heavy style.” His paintings are much sought-after and make five figures at auction.
Moore’s landscapes are known for their deep feelings for nature. He took commissions from the prominent Ipswich Cobbold family, who sent him to paint scenes from England’s North as well as Scotland. His exhibitions were mainly at local galleries, including the Ipswich Art Club, with over three hundred works shown there alone. Three of his paintings were shown at the 1974 centenary exhibition of the Club, including “Sunset,” “Sailing Ships,” and “Fishing Boats off the East Coast.”
This, of course, is a quintessential English landscape of cattle watering. It embodies all the romantic elements of this type of traditional painting. Moore presents here a tranquil scene that is timeless. It was painted in the round; the signature on the bottom left follows the circular form.
The setting sun is casting a pink glow to the clouds that is reflected in the still water below. The sky is everyone’s favorite shade of blue. The small, but finely painted cows are shown on both sides of the lake. The trees, too, are finely and traditionally painted in greens and browns. There is a small sailboat far in the distance. In all, the artist has created not only a beautiful English landscape, but one that will resonate in one’s memory for a long time.
The painting is housed in an antique swept wood and gesso gilded frame with pierced corners. The frame is heavily embossed with flowers and leaves. There also is a raised, rounded border with beaded motifs next to the painting. The frame is ornate yet elegant in style, complimenting the quiet elegance of the painting. There is a metal gilded plate on the bottom part of the frame beneath the painting. It is a name plaque for the artist; however, my research shows that the birth and death dates given on this plaque are incorrect by a few years each.
The condition of the painting is excellent, having been professionally cleaned. The frame is also in excellent condition, having been fully restored at some time.
It measures 14-1/2 inches square, while the painting itself is 9-1/2 inches in diameter.