A new display at the Walker Art Gallery will help those of us mourning the passing of the summer (what we had of it), cope with the transition.
'A study for A Summer Night', acquired for the gallery with assistance from the Art Fund charity, has gone on display alongside an accompanying preparatory watercolour and the final oil painting, both from the gallery’s permanent collection.
Seen together for the first time the trio reveal Moore made several changes to the composition, but that the vivid colours remained constant: primrose yellow and nocturnal blue. The lazy summer evening scene is a typical example of the Aesthetic movement, in which artists would strive to combine colour and mood.
The drawing was the earliest in the series (1884-6), followed by the watercolour (1890) with the final oil finished and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1890. Moore laid down the ideas in the initial sketch and used the watercolour to mark up a grid so that he could size up the study to oil painting dimensions. His dedication was such that he worked solidly on the painting for around three years.
It was his last major work before his death in 1893.