Moore, Christopher (1790–1863), sculptor, was born in Dublin; no details of his family are known. He is first recorded as an artist in Dublin in 1819, when he exhibited at the Society of Artists on Hawkins St. his marble group ‘The combat between the archangel Michael and Satan’. The piece was seen in London at the British Institution in 1821, by which time he had settled there and was living at 78 the Terrace, Tottenham Court Road. Around this time he also attended the schools of the Royal Academy. He continued to exhibit at the British Institution till 1834 and became a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy, where he mainly showed the portrait busts for which he became best known. His work was also seen in England at the Birmingham Society of Artists. He was based in London for the rest of his career. In 1829 he moved to 23 Howland St.
He was, however, a frequent visitor to Ireland and a regular exhibitor at the RHA, of which he was elected a member in 1846. He was responsible for portraits of many of the leading figures of his day, such as Daniel O'Connell (qv) (1837), the lord chancellor, William Conygham Plunket (qv) (1841), the lord lieutenant, the 4th earl of Clarendon (qv) (1849), and Benjamin Lee Guinness (qv) (1852). He executed a second version of his bust of Anne, countess of Charlemont (Royal collection) for Queen Victoria, and his bust of the artist Francis Danby (qv) (1827; NGI) received particular praise for its lifelike quality. His bust of the playwright and politician Richard Lalor Sheil (qv) was engraved for the frontispiece of W. T. McCullagh Torrens' (qv) Memoirs of Shiel (1855). Though his talents lay in capturing expressive likenesses of his sitters in his portrait busts, he eschewed the fashionable conventions of the classical style.
On occasion he handled larger compositions with success: most notable among these works is the funerary monument, a recumbent figure of the dead child, to Isabella Cooper in Goathurst Church, Somerset, England. The same may not be said for his statue of the poet Thomas Moore (qv) (1857; College St., Dublin). He was chosen to execute the work mainly because of the support of the 2nd earl of Charlemont, whose bust by Moore had greatly pleased him. The result, however, has the unfortunate distinction of being the most poorly received public monument of its time in the city, criticised for its poor modelling and wooden stance. The demands of such a monumental work only served to highlight the limitations of his artistic and technical ability. His bust of the poet is in the collection of the NGI; another version is in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Thomas Moore generously praised the sculptor's monument (c.1842; St Patrick's cathedral, Dublin) to John Philpot Curran (qv). He also modelled in wax and produced a number of medallions such as that, in white wax on slate, of George Papworth (qv), the architect who was responsible for the design of Curran's tomb in Glasnevin cemetery. Moore died 17 March 1863 while on a visit to Dublin, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery. He never married.