In late 1872 Moore rented a cottage near Porthmadog in Snowdonia in North Wales where he spent time sketching and exploring. The majority of his RA exhibits of the following year are of subjects in this area. One of these, and the sketch for it (similar to this one), was described by his biographer: ‘...a wonderful tour de force in cloud and light painting, and in the sketch (which was made on the spot, and is as fresh and vigorous as ever) one has an even better chance of realising the unusual power Moore had of rendering by a simple scheme and perfectly direct painting these grand effects of nature.’
This is the view across the Traeth Mawr (Welsh for ‘big sands’) on the Glaslyn Estuary by the light of a full moon, partially obscured by wintry clouds. It may have been exhibited at the RBA in 1873 as Study of Moonlight – Twilight .