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Albert Joseph Moore, 1841–1893, British

A Musician

Former Title(s):

The musicians [1867, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

ca. 1867
Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 11 1/4 x 15 1/4 inches (28.6 x 38.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
bench | chair | costume | fans | flowers (plants) | genre subject | interior | lyre | man | music | musician | relief (sculpture) | vase | women
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

A close friend of James McNeill Whistler, Albert Joseph Moore aimed to use color, line, and rhythmic balance of form to create beautiful visual art in the same way that music used rhythm and tone to create beautiful sound. This painting of two women entranced by a musician with his lyre derives from an ancient Roman wall painting from Herculaneum that Moore studied in the British museum. Here, the pair adopt an enervated, melancholy state, which suggests aesthetic ecstasy. But the classical references are balanced and adapted to the taste of the aesthetic movement with the addition of Japanese fans and unclassical wall decoration. The amoralism of the aesthetic movement, and absence of any narrative or moralizing content in the work of artists like Moore, aroused the suspicions of contemporary critics. Many of its leading members, such as Whistler, Walter Pater, and Oscar Wilde, were investigated, silenced, or jailed for their rejection of Victorian taste and morality and embrace of the cult of beauty. Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2020

Acquisitions : The First Decade 1977-1986, Yale Center for British Art , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1986, p. 16, no. 40, N590.2 A7 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Timothy J. Barringer, Art & music in Britain, four encounters, 1730-1900 (exhibition and label text) , New Haven, 2006, [p. 5], V 1699:1 (YCBA)

Timothy J. Barringer, Art & music in Britain, four encounters, 1730-1900 , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2006, pp. 30-31, V 1699 (YCBA)

Stephen Calloway, The cult of beauty : the aesthetic movement 1860-1900, V&A Publishing, London, 2011, p. 71-72,282, pl. 46, N6767.5 A3 C85 2011 + (YCBA)

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 162-163, N590.2 A83 (YCBA)

Dianne Sachko Macleod, Art and the Victorian middle class : money and the making of cultural identity, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996, p. 440, N72 S6 M23 1996 (YCBA)

Duncan Robinson, Acquisitions : The First Decade 1977 - 1986, , Burlington Magazine, vol. 128, October 1986, p. 16, no. 40, N1 B87 128:3 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Allen Staley, The New Painting of the 1860s, between the pre-raphaelites and the aesthetic movement , Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 2011, pp. 110-11, 130-31, 132, 133, 135, 138, 144, 173, 174, 329, 382, pl. 118, ND467 .S72 2011 Oversize (YCBA)

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