Sapphires (1877) by Albert Joseph Moore

Sapphires - Albert Joseph Moore - 1877

Artwork Information

ArtistAlbert Joseph Moore
Art MovementAcademicism
Current LocationBirmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK

About Sapphires

The artwork entitled “Sapphires” was crafted by the artist Albert Joseph Moore in the year 1877. This oil on canvas resonates with the principles of Academicism, an art movement known for its rigorous adherence to classical techniques and standards. Categorized as a portrait, the painting is housed at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in Birmingham, UK, where it continues to be an object of admiration and study.

“Sapphires” presents a solitary female figure clothed in a flowing blue gown which evokes the color of the gemstone referenced in the title. Her attire exudes a classical simplicity, characterized by loose drapery that gracefully envelops her form, giving emphasis to the purity of line and form—a hallmark of Moore’s aesthetic style. The subject stands erect and front-facing, with a serene yet introspective expression, embodying a quiet dignity. She is adorned with a necklace and a headdress, both suggesting opulence and a connection to the painting’s title through their suggestive blue hue.

The backdrop against which the subject is set features a heavy curtain with a delicate pattern that echoes the sapphire theme both in color and in the circular motifs reminiscent of the precious stones. The pattern of the fabric introduces a textural contrast to the smoothness of the gown and the subject’s skin. Below, a fringe of white flowers adds a touch of organic detail at her feet, contrasting with the geometric tiling of the floor. The overall composition of the artwork is meticulously balanced, with a cohesion in theme and color that epitomizes the Academic style’s pursuit of ideal beauty and harmony in art.

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