MOÏSE, THEODORE SYDNEY (1808–1883), U.S. painter; grandson of Abraham *Moïse. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, he received instruction in painting from his aunt, Penina *Moïse, a part-time artist. Nothing is known about his further education. In 1835, Moïse opened a studio in Charleston, advertising his services as a portrait painter, animal painter, picture restorer, and ornamental draftsman. Moïse moved to New Orleans in 1842–43, where he gained a reputation as an accomplished portrait painter and maintained a studio from 1850 until his death. Members of his studio included Benjamin Franklin Reinhart, Paul Poincy, and the portrait and genre painter Trevor Thomas Fowler. During and after 1842, Moïse traveled with Fowler in the pre-Civil War and then Reconstruction South. Fowler sometimes collaborated with Moïse in the execution of portraits of members of wealthy Southerners. So closely did Moïse and Fowler work that art historians find it impossible in some instances to differentiate Moïse's work from that of Fowler's. Moïse's subjects often included wealthy landowners, their families, servants, horses, and dogs. The latter images might have been commissioned on the strength of Moïse's reputation as a portrait painter and as a master of making expressive likenesses of horses. Moïse's portraits demonstrate a Neoclassical style which shares characteristics of the work of the French 18th century artists Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Jacques-Louis David, as well
H. Moïse, The Moise Family of South Carolina and Their Descendants (1961); C. Roth, (ed.), Jewish Art: An Illustrated History (rev. ed. by Bezalel Narkiss, 1971); P.B. Schmit (ed.), Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718–1918 (1987).