Just The Most Wonderful Portrait of a Child and Three Gorgeous Rabbits by William Moore Senior Signed and dated 1836


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THE STORY - It was the setting of this portrait that really stole my heart, well that and the darling child and those three rabbits. But I loved the wooden hutch with the ivy like plant creeping over it, the wood in the background and the shrubs in the foreground, giving a sense of unity with the natural world and a real sense of innocence. The painting is by William Moore Senior and is both signed and dated 1836 in the bottom corner below the straw hat with its blue ribbons which lays upon the ground. The painting is I think finely executed in both pencil and watercolour and there isn't an inch of paper that is left untouched. The use of colour is both sparing but powerful, with a peachy brown colour being used for that wooden hutch and the ground, but being used more intensely for the child face and hair, and a grey green colour being used for the dress and the foliage. And then there is that cornflower blue paint used wonderfully and powerfully for the child's eyes the flowers in the basket and the ribbons of that hat. And I have to say for me that beautiful face shines out from the painting and even the rabbit in the foreground whose hand the child rests on cannot for me compete. The painting sits in what I believe to be its original gilt wooden frame.

WILLIAM MOORE SENIOR - Born in Birmingham in 1790. He started his career as a decorator of Japanned objects. In 1810 he turned his attention to portrait painting moving to London where he achieved some success and recognition. In 1829 he travelled North settling in the City of York, where he acquired considerable patronage. He worked in oil, watercolours and pastels.
Moore was twice married and had fourteen children, thirteen sons, four of whom became known Artists with the most famous being Albert Joseph Moore who was closely associated with the Aesthetic Movement.
Sadly in 1845, Moore fell ill from lead and vermillion poisoning from the pigment of the pastels he used and died in York in 1851.

DATE - 1836.

CONDITION - The painting is in very good condition with the colours still strong and no foxing to the paper that I can see. The frame does have some knocks and this is mainly at the corners and the painting of the frame has also cracked at all corners although the frame does feel stable (I can send more photos if needed). The back is held by some old brown tape and had some old label still stuck to it and there is some old rope from which to hang it from which I would recommended testing before hanging.

DIMENSIONS (Approx) - Framed - Height 17&1/2" / 45cm, Width 14" / 36cm, Depth 2" / 5cm. Image Size - Height 12" / 30cm, Width 8&1/2" / 22cm

I can't help thinking that a lot of fun must of been had during the painting of this portrait as the child stands so proudly with the rabbits. There really is little sense of formality in the painting with the straw hat laying carelessly on the ground and the old weathered wooden Hutch in amongst the ivy and trees. I am sure it was an image that must of touched the child's parents deeply. And it is an image which I still find very touching today, nearly 200 years later.

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