Moore was born in York, a member of an old Yorkshire family. His father was an artist, & his elder brother Henry Moore 1831-1895, was the famous marine painter. The family moved to London in the 1850s, & Albert Moore trained initially at the Kensington Art School, and subsequently at the Royal Academy. In the 1860s Moore traveled to Paris and Rome. He gradually developed a style of aesthetic painting, with carefully integrated, and subtle colour schemes. Moore was amongst the most painstaking of even Victorian painters, his pictures starting with nude studies, and drapery studies, many of which were subsequently worked up into finished pictures. Like other Victorian painters, many of his pictures were set in ancient Greece, or Rome. Producing genuinely authentic ancient settings was, however, not important to Moore, his aim was to produce graceful, elegant paintings without subject. In this he was entirely succeeded.
Moore exhibited at the Royal Academy for many years, his pictures were usually very badly hung, a tradition maintained by Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery to this day! Many mediocre artists of the day were full Academicians, yet Moore, one of the greatest and most original Victorian artists was not even elected an Associate. He also exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery. Moore was for many years a friend of Whistler, a tribute to his tact and forbearance, though Whistler helped his friend whenever he could. In the last few years of Moore's life he worked in Tempera as well as oils. Moore was an eccentric, sharing his life with his daschund dog, and an army of cats, which effectively took over his home. Not only was he unconcerned by personal comfort, he really failed to look after himself. From the early 1880s his health started to decline, and in the early 1890s he developed the cancerous growth on his thigh which killed him. Moore spent his last months in a grim race with death, struggling to complete his large picture “The Loves of The Winds and The Seasons.” Moore chose to devote the short time left to him working on this picture, and to this end excluded from his life old friends. Sir Merton Russell-Cotes visited him, however, and left behind a record of their meeting in his journal. The dying artist spent his last days in a heroic struggle for his art. From this there has grown up an exaggerated idea of the solitariness of Moore's life. A Contemporary View of the Work of Moore
This article appeared in the Art Journal 1893, first published in London, by J S Virtue and Co Limited. It concerns the lack of any official recognition of the recently deceased artist Albert Joseph Moore, one of the greatest of the aesthetic artists of the day.
Source: Victorian Art in Britain
Paul Ripley shares further thoughts on the artist:
"Moore was a real outsider, but his aesthetic decorative images are staggeringly well-painted and beautiful. In Blackburn art gallery is The Love of the Winds and Seasons
. Moore battled to paint this vast picture as he was dying of cancer. He completed it about 10 days before his death. He isolated himself from friends and family in a last heroic effort to complete his picture, and HE DID IT. The picture perhaps gives some idea of the direction his art would have taken had not death intervened. His figures had facial expressions, and showed feelings. Whether this is better, worse, or just different I do not know. Birmingham City Art Gallery owns Dreamers
which has been displayed with maximum incompetence and insensitivity for many years. I have been fighting them on behalf of tha artist. The picture has been placed between an Alma-Tadema
, and a Brett sea picture. Their bright colours murder it. They have been doing, due to incompetence, what the RA did deliberately in Moore's lifetime. Last time I was in the gallery they seemed to have re-arranged the pictures, with some improvement in the effect. I like to think that I may have played some small part in this."