A Summer Night by Albert Moore. 1884-90. Oil on canvas, 51 x 88 inches. Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

"In A Summer Might, Moore at last dissolved the shallowly placed background wall long conventional in his paintings and replaced it with interlacing floral garlands and the silvery filigree of an openwork trellis. His hermetic, artificially constructed world now opens up to an atmospheric prospect of nature, but one which closely parallels the human scene in the foreground. The floral garlands are mirrored by pale clouds festooning the dark sky above a placid sea. Light seems to spill from the curved hip of the reclining figure, charting a shimmering path across the water to the echoing silhouette of a distant island. The orange ranunculus blossoms dotting the upper left of the trellis are similarly reflected in tiny lights twinkling along the horizon below. Moore had made preliminary experiments in integrating idealized figures within naturalistic landscape settings in two paintings exhibited in 1888, A Riverside and Waiting to Cross. But the specific inspiration lor the shimmering moonlit seascape in A Summer Night is very likely the nostalgically revisited sketch of the Lake District mentioned earlier, Moonlight — sketched near Ullswater in 1858, finished 1886." — Aselson, p. 188.


Asleson, Robyn, Albert Moore, London: Phaidon Press, 2000

Last modified 23 April 2007