Joseph Moore, said to be after Sir Thomas Lawrence Portrait of a gentleman 235 x 158 cm.
Lot 796W
English school, 19th century Portrait of General Sir John Moore, KB, MP (1761-1809)
Sold for AU$ 4,800 (US$ 4,486) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
English school, 19th century
Portrait of General Sir John Moore, KB, MP (1761-1809) full length, wearing the uniform of a major-general, holding a sword and standing beside two horses
inscribed 'LII REG' on the red shield and '52' on the saddle cloth (upper right)
oil on canvas
235 x 158 cm (92 1/2 x 62 3/16in).


  • John Moore was the son of a Glasgow physician and writer. At fifteen he joined the British Army as an ensign in the 51st Foot Regiment based in Minorca, but he first saw action in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War as a lieutenant in the 82nd under the 8th Duke of Hamilton. After returning to Britain he was elected to Parliament in 1784 as the Member for Lanark, Selkirk, Peebles and Linlithgow, a seat which he held until 1790.

    In 1791 his unit was assigned to the Mediterranean and he was involved in campaigning in Corsica and wounded at Calvi. He was later promoted to colonel and became adjutant-general to Sir Charles Stuart. In 1798 he was promoted to major-general and served in the suppression of the republican Irish Rebellion in Ireland in 1798. His personal intervention was credited with turning the tide at the battle of Foulksmills and although the rebellion was crushed with great brutality, Moore stood out from most other commanders for his humanity. In 1804 Moore was knighted and promoted to lieutenant-general. In 1806 he returned to active duty in the Mediterranean and then in 1808 in the Baltic, to assist the Swedish. However, disagreements with Gustavus IV of Sweden led to him being sent home where he was ordered to Portugal. Moore took command of the British forces in the Iberian peninsula. When Napoleon arrived in Spain with 200,000 men, Moore drew the French northwards while retreating to his embarkation ports of Coruña and Vigo. He was fatally wounded at the Battle of Corunna, and was buried in the ramparts of the town. He is commemorated by statues in George Square, Glasgow and St Paul's Cathedral, London.

    The present portrait is derived from a portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence which is known in two versions, one of which is in the National Portrait Gallery, London, the other in the National Army Museum, London. Moore is believed to have sat for Lawrence in the early years of the 19th century, probably in 1800. Whilst the facial similarity to the present painting is strong, the Lawrence portraits are bust-length, and the copyist has extrapolated them to create a full-length portrait.
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