The best known of the prominent Moran family of painters, Thomas Moran was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England and came with his family to America at the age of seven. He began his artistic career in Philadelphia, sharing a studio with his older brother Edward. He exhibited his first collection of oils at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art when he was only 21.
In 1862 while studying in London he was impressed by the work of British master J.W.M. Turner, who would have the single greatest influence on his career. Inspired, he returned to America to become one of our most important and influential painters, first as a pillar of the Hudson River School and later, creating majestic landscapes of the American west and masterful images of the European cities he visited, most notably Venice and its canals.
Moran's paintings are considered visionary in their interpretation of the beauty of natural phenomena depicted with brilliant coloration and luminism. In 1916 he settled in Santa Barbara, California where he continued to produce fine paintings throughout the remainder of his life.