Study for 'A Summer Night'

WAG 8295


This is a study for Moore's painting 'A Summer Night', also in the collection at the Walker Art Gallery. Moore's method of making a painting was painstaking. He would start with a quick pen and ink sketch of his idea, then perfecting this with various studies. He then made detailed black and white drawings, and rapid colour sketches in oil from models. Sometimes, as here, he used a photograph of the posed models and painted over it. The grid of squares drawn on the watercolour here is to guide Moore in scaling up the drawing to the size of the finished canvas. The final composition of the painting is different from the watercolour, with the arrangement of figures reversed. The colours are largely the same - primrose yellow and a steely grey-blue. Moore has signed the drawing with an anthemion or palmette, a motif which resembles the leaves of a palm tree. He commonly used this as his signature.