Oil on canvas, 27.5 x 43.5 inches / Signed lower left
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Born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, Moran immigrated to the United States (Philadelphia) in 1844 with his parents and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. 1845 found him in Philadelphia working in a textile factory. As the story goes, Moran was introduced to Philadelphia artist, James Hamilton, by his supervisor, after being caught drawing instead of minding his loom. In addition to Hamilton, he studied with G. D. Paul Weber, another noted Philadelphia artist. The Moran family of painters included his younger brothers Peter, John, and Thomas and his sons Edward Percy and John Leon Moran. Younger brother Thomas once said that Edward "taught the rest of us Morans all we know about art". He shared a Philadelphia studio with his brother Thomas and the pair went to London in 1861 to study at the Royal Academy and to copy the works of J. M. W. Turner, an early influence on his style. Turner moved to New York City in 1871 after a falling out with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In New York he was exposed to the works of luminists John F. Kensett, Martin Johnson Heade and Sanford R. Gifford and experimented himself with that particular style. In 1876 Moran met French sculptor Frédéric A. Bartholdi, who's Liberty Enlightening the World (Statue of Liberty) would be erected in New York Harbor in 1886. Moran was so inspired by Bartholdi's grand project that he was moved to paint The Commerce of Nations Paying Homage to Liberty, which was displayed at numerous fund-raisers for the project. In fact, this inspiration resulted in his traveling to France, where he was exposed to the style of the en plein-air painters of the Barbizon School. Moran is best known for his skilled execution of seascapes and was the recognized expert in this genre. His Hints for Practical Study of Marine Painting was published in issues of Art Amateur (1888). In the 1890s Moran completed 13 paintings depicting major events in American maritime history. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society, National Academy of Design, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Society of Illustrators, the Brooklyn Art Association, Society of Illustrators and the Lotos Club, where he also exhibited. Moran also exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Boston Art Club, Art Institute of Chicago, Exposition Universelle (1889) and the World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago, 1892-1893). During the Civil War Moran participated in an exhibition that raised funds for Union soldiers. A year later he participated in a second charity exhibition that raised funds for the Artists' Fund Society.