Thomas Moran

Thomas Moran


Nationality: American

Birth Place: Bolton (Bolton, England, United Kingdom)

Regarded as one of the foremost American artists of the nineteenth century, Thomas Moran is best known for his magnificent views of the American West, in particular his detailed depictions of Yellowstone that played a major role in convincing Congress to make the region a national park in 1872. Like the other great landscapists associated with the Hudson River School, such as Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt, Moran ventured far into nature for firsthand inspiration of the breathtaking scenery he later worked up in the studio from small drawings and watercolors he had produced on site. Though the artist spent a great deal of time painting the American frontier, it is his dreamy, jewel-toned depictions of Venice that perhaps best epitomize his intent to imaginatively capture the romantic, picturesque beauty and the unique sensory experience of a locale, rather than depicting reality in topographically accurate detail. Moran's ability to convey the scenic splendor of the Venice canal in a unique, poetic manner led to the widespread popularity of his views of the Italian city.

Born in Bolton, England, in 1837 as one of seven children, Thomas Moran immigrated to the United States with his family in 1844, settling in Philadelphia. At the age of sixteen, he was apprenticed to a local engraving firm and spent his spare time painting and drawing. In 1856 the young artist began exhibiting his work at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Although Moran was self-taught, he received guidance from the painter James Hamilton, who introduced him to the work of the popular English landscape and marine painter Joseph Mallord William Turner. After studying illustrations of Turner's dynamic paintings, Moran was determined to see the artist's work in person. In 1862 he sailed for Britain and spent several weeks at the National Gallery in London studying Turner's works firsthand. Moran began to emulate the artist's atmospheric, light-filled compositions, deriving inspiration from his striking color effects and masterful handling of light, air and mist.

In 1916 Moran moved from his longtime home and studio in East Hampton, New York, to the more hospitable climate of Santa Barbara, California. No longer able to undertake arduous journeys by horse or mule into the rugged mountains and canyons he still enjoyed painting, the elderly artist relied instead upon a trove of plein air reference material he had made earlier, sometimes decades before.


Thomas Moran Original Art Values Sold at Auction

Item Realized
Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926) Mountain Lion in Grand Canyon (Lair of the Mountain Lion), 1914 Oil on canvas 30 x
Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926)Mountain Lion in Grand Canyon (Lair of the Mountain Lion), 1914Oil on canvas30 x...
Lot 68017
Auction 5286
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
THOMAS MORAN (American 1837 - 1926) Moonlight. Icebergs in Mid Atlantic, 1910 Signed and dated at lower right (recto)...
THOMAS MORAN (American 1837 - 1926)Moonlight. Icebergs in Mid Atlantic, 1910Signed and dated at lower right (recto),...
Lot 24012
Auction 638
Friday, November 10, 2006
THOMAS MORAN (American 1837 - 1926) Devil's Tower, Green River, Wyoming, 1919 Oil on canvas 20 x 16in. Signed and d
THOMAS MORAN (American 1837 - 1926) Devil's Tower, Green River, Wyoming, 1919Oil on canvas20 x 16in.Signed and d...
Lot 24014
Auction 638
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926) Grand Canyon, Hermit Rim, 1912 Chromolithograph 26 x 36 inches (66.0 x 91.4 cm) (s
Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926)Grand Canyon, Hermit Rim, 1912Chromolithograph26 x 36 inches (66.0 x 91.4 cm) (s...
Lot 61613
Auction 5285
Monday, June 12, 2017
Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926) The Half Dome - View from Moran Point, Yosemite, 1887 Etching on tan paper 11-3/4
Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926)The Half Dome - View from Moran Point, Yosemite, 1887Etching on tan paper11-3/4 ...
Lot 65006
Auction 5293
Thursday, January 19, 2017

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PLEASE NOTE: All prices realized reflect the final hammer price PLUS the buyer's premium in auctions that charge a buyer's premium. Each item has a notation at the top of the listing indicating whether that lot included a buyer's premium. All information listed is intended to be as accurate as possible, but errors are possible. Please use this guide carefully and inform us of any inaccuracies.

Buy Thomas Moran

ItemCurrent Bid or Price
Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926) Mountain of the Holy Cross, 1888 Etching on paper 26-1/4 x 18-1/4 inches (66.7 x 4
Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926)Mountain of the Holy Cross, 1888Etching on paper26-1/4 x 18-1/4 inches (66.7 x 4...
Lot 63024
Auction 5339
Saturday, March 10, 2018

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