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Gallery Text

A leader of the Aesthetic movement, Moore rarely strayed from his preferred compositional arrangement. His canvases feature women draped in classicized garments and placed in decorative settings. This homogeneity is due to the artist’s systematic working methods.

A recent treatment of this painting helped curators and conservators learn more about Moore’s artistic practice, most notably that it comprised 18 distinct stages. Some steps are perceptible to the naked eye: graphite gridlines are visible under the thin paint layer near the figure’s head and feet. Moore used these lines to finalize the composition before he set to work on a large-scale version of the painting.

Moore was also attentive to geometric forms in his frames, which he designed himself. With shallow profiles decorated with linear ornament, his frames drew from ancient Greek and Roman architecture and accentuated his figure’s classically inspired costumes and poses.

This frame is a historically accurate reproduction recently crafted by the Harvard Art Museums’ frame conservator after one of Moore’s own design.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1943.199
People
Albert Joseph Moore, British (York, England 1841 - 1893 London, England)
Title
Study for "Blossoms"
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Completed Study for "Blossoms"
Former Title: Cherry Blossom
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
c. 1881
Culture
British
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/230457
Location
Level 2, Room 2130, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, The Pre–Raphaelites and Their Legacy
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
77 × 25.1 cm (30 5/16 × 9 7/8 in.)
framed: 102.6 × 50.5 × 3.5 cm (40 3/8 × 19 7/8 × 1 3/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.r.: anthemion device
Provenance
W. Moresby Chinnery, sold [through his sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, March 1, 1920, lot 12, as "Cherry Blossom"]. William Hulme, Viscount Leverhulme, sold [through Anderson Galleries, New York, February 17-19, 1926, lot 183 as "Cherry Blossom"]. [Scott & Fowles, New York], sold; to Grenville L. Winthrop, 1932, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.199
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Catalogue of Modern Pictures and Watercolour Drawings... of M. Chinnery, auct. cat., Christie's, London (London, England, March 1, 1920), no. 12

The Art Collection of the Late Viscount Leverhulme, auct. cat., Anderson Galleries (New York, NY, February 17, 1926 - February 19, 1926), no. 183; repr., facing p. 128

Paintings and Drawings of the Pre-Raphaelites and their Circle, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1946), no. 60

Denys Sutton, "The Pursuit of Beauty", Apollo (June 1978), vol. CVII, no. 196, pp. 446-452, p. 451, fig. 11

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 121; repr. as no. 88

"Spring Sampler: Signs of the Season from Diverse University Collections", Harvard Magazine (March 2002), pp. 38-43, p. 43, repr. in color

Chikashi Kitazaki and Mina Oya, ed., Between Reality and Dreams: Nineteenth Century British and French Art from the Winthrop Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art (Ueno, 2002), pp. 212-213, cat. #65, color repr.

Colleen Walsh, "Make It New (By Making It Old)", Harvard Gazette, June 16, 2022, https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2022/06/make-it-new-by-making-it-old/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Gazette%2020220621%20(1), accessed June 22, 2022.

Ruby Awburn, Sophie Lynford, and Georgina Rayner, "Process to Product: A Technical Investigation into the Working Practices of Albert Moore”, Materia: Journal of Technical Art History (Winter 2022), https://issue-2.materiajournal.com/awburn/, accessed June 1, 2022

Sophie Lynford and Allison Jackson, "Reframing Albert Moore’s Study for 'Blossoms': Historical Design, Contemporary Production", Index Magazine, Harvard Art Museums (June 13, 2022), https://harvardartmuseums.org/article/reframing-albert-moore-s-em-study-for-blossoms-em-historical-design-contemporary-production, accessed June 14, 2022

Exhibition History

Paintings and Drawings of the Pre-Raphaelites and their Circle, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/08/1946 - 06/01/1946

Unidentified Exhibition, Lamont Library, 1959, Lamont Library, Cambridge, 04/01/1959 - 04/30/1959

Between Reality and Dreams: Nineteenth Century British and French Art from the Winthrop Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 09/14/2002 - 12/08/2002

For Students of Art and Lovers of Beauty: Highlights from the Collection of Grenville L. Winthrop, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/16/2004

32Q: 2130 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/02/2022 - 01/01/2050

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This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu