George Moore



George Moore, by Alvin Langdon Coburn, 1908 - NPG  - © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

George Moore
by Alvin Langdon Coburn
1908
NPG P169

Past display archive
June - September 2005

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Born in Ireland, Moore studied art in Paris but soon realised that his gifts lay in writing. He wrote a series of experimental novels, including the pseudo-autobiographical Confessions of a Young Man (1888) and Esther Walters (1894), a book that broke new ground in making a servant the sympathetic title-character and that proved Moore's most enduring success.

Moore also drew on his Parisian experiences and connections to write art criticism that sought to introduce new developments in French painting to the English public. Originally published in the periodical press, a number of these articles were collected in Impressions and Opinions (1891) and Modern Painting (1893).

Moore was also a member and the most influential supporter of the New English Art Club which, together with the Slade School of Art, was the key focus of progressive attitudes to art in the 1890s. He was always closest to artists, rather than writers, and the three fine portraits shown here - by William Orpen, Henry Tonks and the photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn - show him at the centre of advanced cultural life at the turn of the twentieth century.