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"Landscape View of Arundel Castle" (1864) | Edward Moran

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Signed "Ed. Moran 1864" lower left; painting executed in oil on canvas
Item # 003SPP10A 

An exquisite landscape painting from relatively early in his career, this vibrant view of the fields before Arundel Castle depicts grazing sheep and cattle before the winding river Arun in the golden hour as evening closes in. There is a heavy atmosphere through which the light bends and shifts, obscuring the distant castle in a translucent haze. The waning light catches the edges of the clouds and casts long shadows against the animals as the sun has drifted out of frame.

Signed lower left "Ed. Moran", the work is dated 1864, executed during the trip taken by Edward together with his brother Thomas to study painting in England.


Born to a family of hand-loom weavers on August 19 of 1829, Edward Moran and his eleven siblings grew up in Lancashire, England before immigrating to Maryland in 1844. Moran left his family to work in a cotton mill in Philadelphia, where he met and trained under seascape painter James Hamilton and landscape artist Paul Weber. The effect of Hamilton and Weber on his work is evident in the highly detailed landscape work he produced in his early painting period. During the 1850's he trained his brother Thomas Moran on painting while the two shared a studio in Philadelphia. Thomas would later say "(Edward) taught the rest of us Morans all we know about art".

In 1861, Edward and Thomas left together for England to continue their studies and came under the influence of seascape painter J.M.W. Turner as well as the Dutch painters of the seventeenth century. Edward studied at the Royal Academy and during this period they both executed many landscapes of the countryside throughout England, including sketches and paintings of Arundel Castle - a sketch by Thomas Moran dated the same year depicts Arundel Castle and the surrounding town.

Edward became a member of the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts as well as an Associate of the National Academy of Design. During an 1868 exhibition with the Pennsylvania Academy, he achieved some notoriety after a dispute with the directors regarding the placement of his work - in response, he painted over the group of paintings and cut one canvas from its frame, leaving the defaced paintings in situ as a public statement. He eventually resigned as a member of the Pennsylvania Academy.

In 1871 he returned to the United States and settled in New York. He was in France from 1877 to 1879 and by his return in the 1880's his work had permanently shifted from landscapes to marine paintings, a specialty he focused on for the rest of his life. His brush stroke became more "painterly" with a broader focus on the mood and phases of the ocean and less emphasis on minute detail and perfect realism. He was regarded as a contemporary expert on marine painting and published discussions on his Marine painting technique in a series of articles titled "Hints for Practical Study of Marine Painting" for Art Amateur for their 1888 September and November issues.

By 1890, Edward developed a taste for depicting the maritime history of the United States and from 1891 through 1898 he completed at least thirteen canvases. Several of these are held in the permanent collection of the Annapolis, Maryland U.S. Naval Academy Museum.

Moran spent the rest of his life living and working in New York City until his death in 1901. His work was highly successful during his lifetime and widely respected - he was eulogized as having no American superior in the field of marine painting.

Artist Listings & Further Reading:

  • Edward Moran (1829−1901), American Marine and Landscape Painter, Paul Schweizer, 1979
  • E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Gründ, 2006

Measurements: 20 1/4" H x 30 3/8" W [canvas]

Condition Report:
Light craquelure throughout the canvas. Relined. Retouch to an old repair in the sky above and to the right of the castle. Under UV showing flaring from this repair as speck touch ups in a few spots throughout. Light edge wear to where the frame rubs. Professionally cleaned and conserved. Contemporary frame.