Albert Moore, was a leading figure of the aesthetic movement and a great favourite of Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russell Cotes. They owned several works by the artist, although the only original oil in the collection is Midsummer (1887) found in Gallery I. “My profound admiration for my late dear friend’s pictures” Merton Russell-Cotes wrote, “was only exceeded by that for himself.” Indeed, he devotes twelve pages of his autobiography to him and recalls Moore, as he was apt to do with artists and people of distinction, “a great friend”.
It is no surprise to find that a copy of Blossoms (1881), now in the Tate Gallery, was commissioned by Sir Merton so it could be hung in East Cliff Hall. Moore was a wonderful portrayer of beautiful women. His models were mostly Yorkshire girls, all the same type, tall, well formed, with charming oval faces, beautiful hair and blue eyes, perfect types of English womanhood.