Friday, June 3, 2011

Albert Joseph Moore - Charity

signed with an anthemion l.r.
coloured pastels on grey paper
130 by 56cm., 51 by 22in.

Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 85,250 GBP

The present drawing was apparently based upon a design for a memorial window and depicts a mother in classical robes accompanied by children. It has been dated to c.1890 and is a beautiful example of Moore's later work. The pastel is similar to a group of drawings owned by the famous department store founder Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty (sold in these rooms, 6 October 1980, lots 61-64). Pastel was a medium that Moore used increasingly in later years with great expression as Robyn Asleson has explained; 'Lending itself to subtle nuance, pastel moderated Moore's
rigorously analytical approach to composition. The female body, which he had long endeavoured to render dispassionately, attained greater sensuality in his last works.' (Robyn Asleson, Albert Moore, 2000, p.193) These drawings were not mere studies and have an intensity of their own and depict delicate subjects of human emotion;

'Intimations of love and affection merely hinted at in earlier compositions became overt themes in Moore's later pastels and related works. The bond between mother and child provided the subject of Caritas, a nearly life-size pastel...' (op. cit) It is possible that Caritas owes elements of its composition and subject to a painting of the same title by Edward Burne-Jones completed in 1885 (collection of Lord Lloyd Webber), particularly the naked child held in the mother's arms and the older child half-hidden behind her robes.

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