'A Summer Night' is one of the masterpieces of English Aestheticism. Four female figures rest on a terrace overlooking a moonlit sea. They are each alike in character and form and shown in various stages of semi-undress.
Moore may have intended them to be viewed as a series of successive moments showing the same woman, a technique that could reflect the early development of sequential photography. He may have also been inspired by the famous Roman Portland Vase which shows women in a variety of poses and variously occupied. Moore would have seen the Vase in the British Museum when he entered London’s Royal Academy Schools in 1858.