Moran Edward
  • Author record: Blistar
  • Movement: Realism
  • Сentury: XIX
  • Country: USA
  • Description:

    Edward Moran (August 19, 1829 in Bolton, Lancashire, England – June 8, 1901 in New York City) was an American artist.

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    Edward Moran, the oldest of the artistic Moran brothers, was acknowledged as the impetus behind the family's entry into the art world. "He taught the rest of us Morans all we know about art," stated his famous younger brother Thomas. During a long and successful career, Edward Moran became a member of the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts and an Associate of the National Academy of Design.

    After working at a variety of trades, he turned to painting in the early 1850s. The first twenty-seven years of his artistic career were spent in Philadelphia, where he studied painting with the marine painter James Hamilton and with the landscapist Paul Weber. Moran's training with Hamilton and Weber is clear in New Castle on the Delaware. Stylistically, the painting exhibits the careful details and truth to nature of his more detailed early phase. In 1861, Moran-traveled to London for additional instruction at the Royal Academy, and in 1871 he relocated to the New York area, where he remained for the rest of his life.

    Seascapes were Moran's forté. By the 1880s, the artist was considered such an expert on the subject that his "hints for practical study' of marine painting were published in the September and November, 1888, issues of the Art Amateur. After his death, an admirer wrote that "As a painter of the sea in its many moods and phases, Edward Moran ... had no superior in America."

    In the year New Castle on the Delaware was finished, Moran exhibited two paintings with that title; one was shown at the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the other was exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York. One of these paintings may be the version now at the Butler Institute. The painting depicts the town of New Castle, located on the west bank of the Delaware River. Settled by the Dutch as New Amstel in the 1650s, New Castle is situated about six miles south of Wilmington and less than three miles southwest of the present-day Delaware Memorial Bridge. The building in the center with a cupola is the terminal building of the New Castle and Frenchtown Turnpike Company, located on the battery, now Battery Park. Immediately in front of it is the Banks Building, with its porch front, the site of an old market on the wharf. Near the center of town is a square tower that probably represents the unfinished new Presbyterian Church, construction of which began in 1854. Further back, at the top of the hill, is the white spire of Immanuel Church, built in 1689 and given its present spire in 1820-22.

    As painted by Moran, New Castle Harbor contains the usual complement of sailing vessels, including a boat in the foreground appropriately named the 'New Castle'. Surprisingly, only two boats in the harbor are side-wheelers, the steam-powered vessels introduced earlier in the century that led to the decline of the clipper ships. Moran continued to paint nautical subjects for the rest of his career. After a trip to France from 1877 to 1879, however, his work became broader in handling, less detailed, and more painterly than the Butler Institute painting.

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