Sir John Moore (1761-1809) Lieutenant-General & Victor of Corunna
About the work
In this half-length mezzotint, army officer Sir John Moore wears the uniform of a Major-General without Orders (plain uniform). The print was made after Sir Thomas Lawrence’s oil painting of Moore (c.1800-04), now in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. The original work was painted to form a pair with an earlier portrait of Moore’s brother, naval officer Sir Graham Moore. Graham’s portrait (c.1792; National Portrait Gallery) also shows the sitter half-length and in military uniform.
About the artist
Charles Turner was born in Woodstock, Oxfordshire; the son of an excise officer. At a young age he moved to London, where he was apprenticed to engraver John Jones and studied at the Royal Academy schools. He later produced work in mezzotint, aquatint and stipple for publishers in London and Scotland. He also began publishing his own prints in 1796. In 1812 he was appointed Engraver-in-Ordinary to George III. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1828. Throughout his career he is thought to have produced 638 portrait engravings and over 300 subject engravings. These were generally made after works by contemporary artists, such as Raeburn, Lawrence and J. M. W. Turner, with whom the engraver enjoyed a long standing friendship.
Sir Thomas Lawrence was born in Bristol; the son of a supervisor of excise. In 1773 the family moved to Wiltshire to run a coaching inn but financial difficulties led them to move again to Bath, where Lawrence first worked as a portraitist. He may have had lessons from William Hoare, before enrolling at the Royal Academy schools in 1787. Aged 20, he received a royal commission for portraits of Queen Charlotte (1789-90) and Princess Amelia (1789). At 23 he replaced Reynolds as Painter-in-Ordinary and at 25, became a Royal Academician. Despite such success, he never escaped crippling debt. In 1815 he was knighted and commissioned to paint the Waterloo Chamber series of portraits. He replaced West as President of the Royal Academy in 1820.