Midsummer (1887) by Albert Joseph Moore

Midsummer - Albert Joseph Moore - 1887

Artwork Information

ArtistAlbert Joseph Moore
Dimensions155 x 160 cm
Art MovementAcademicism

About Midsummer

The artwork entitled “Midsummer,” created by Albert Joseph Moore in 1887, is an oil on canvas that exemplifies the principles of Academicism. Measuring 155 x 160 cm, this genre painting captures the attention with its aesthetic and thematic elements.

In this painting, the viewer is presented with three figures, likely allegorical in nature, rendered with a meticulous attention to detail that is characteristic of Academic art. The central figure is seated on an ornately decorated chair and appears to be in a relaxed or possibly sleeping state, her head resting gently on one hand while the other grasps the arm of the chair. She is draped in flowing garments of a rich, warm orange hue that vividly contrasts against the paler tones of her skin and the cool architectural elements in the background.

Flanking her on both sides are standing figures, each holding a fan composed of delicate, radial spokes, which may be seen as both utilitarian objects and attributes that contribute to the scene’s overall symmetrical composition. These two figures, also adorned in orange drapery, are depicted in a calm and composed manner as they engage with the central figure—one seems to be tending to the seated woman, while the other maintains a more detached pose.

The precision in the rendering of the fabrics and architectural details contributes to the artwork’s sense of luxury and tranquility. The backdrop features an array of architectural elements and decorations, including a balustrade and a frieze adorned with botanical motifs. The chosen palette is dominated by the vibrant oranges of the robes, set against the subdued tones of the surroundings, underscoring the figures’ presence.

The overall atmosphere is one of serene contemplation, imbued with a sense of timeless elegance that aligns with the ideals of the Academic movement, which prioritized formal beauty and technical skill. Moore’s “Midsummer” thus stands as a fine example of genre painting from the late 19th century, reflecting both the artist’s mastery of classical techniques and the aesthetic preferences of his time.

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