Peter Moore

Secretary to Dalí implicated in forgery of his works

John Peter Moore, art collector and businessman: born London 1919; married Catherine Perrot; died Port Lligat, Spain 26 December 2005.

The flamboyant businessman Peter Moore made his name, and subsequently became embroiled in scandal, as secretary to the Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. Moore worked as Dalí's right-hand man for 20 years, accompanied him on his world tours, and became a pivotal figure in his colourful entourage. As Dalí became ill and bedridden, Moore assumed control over the artist's activities, and oversaw the mass production of his works that damaged Dalí's reputation. He was known as "Captain Moore", following service in the Army - when he claimed to have worked with Winston Churchill on secret wartime operations.

Scandal hit in October 2004, when he was convicted of reworking Dalí's 1969 painting The Double Image of Gala, and displaying it in his own gallery as a newly discovered work. The painting, one of many Dalí made of his wife and muse, Gala, had been stolen from New York's Knoedler Gallery in 1974 and the FBI and Interpol hunted for it in vain for years. Radically altered, chopped down and renamed Dalí Painting Gala, the painting was found in 1999 in the art centre that Moore ran jointly with his wife in Port Lligat.

Police seized the painting and searched Moore's home and workshops, where they found 10,000 faked Dalí lithographs. Moore was detained, but released because he was 85. He and his wife Catherine Perrot were convicted of "damaging the moral rights of the author", but a Spanish court took no further action because of Moore's age and his fragile mental state. The couple were instead ordered to pay some £670,000 compensation to the Dalí-Gala Foundation, which cares for the painter's legacy, and to pay for the restoration of the damaged painting.

Born in London of Irish origin, and educated in France, Moore lost his parents in a road accident when he was 14. He remained under the guardianship of a tutor until at 20 he joined the Army and became, he reckoned, a more confident person. After a distinguished wartime career, he left the service in 1946. By the Fifties, he was working in Rome for the British film company London Films under Alexander Korda. He first met Dalí in Rome in 1955. Korda was working on the film Richard III, starring Laurence Olivier, and wanted Dalí to paint a portrait of the actor in the title role to publicise the film. He sent Moore to Dalí to negotiate payment for the work, and the two men hit it off. Moore kept the oil painting for 45 years until the Dalí foundation bought it for $500,000 in 2000.

Dalí hired Moore as his full-time personal representative in 1964, and offered him 10 per cent commission on all business generated by the artist's graphic works. The pair launched upon an extravagant and glamorous life style - Moore liked to be photographed petting his tame ocelot - and Moore accumulated an important collection of the artist's works.

According to Dalí's biographer Ian Gibson, Moore felt pressed to earn his 10 per cent by exploiting to the full his talent for rapid business deals. "It was the beginning of a slippery slope, through which Dalí's reputation as an artist declined with alarming rapidity with his own consent," Gibson wrote in The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí (1997). Moore encouraged Dalí to authorise the mass production of lithographs, some sold as originals. Some carried forged signatures; others were blank sheets signed by Dalí on which lithographs were later printed. A thriving parallel trade in fake Dalí lithographs developed.

Moore insisted the works were genuine, but became embroiled in legal suits over alleged forgeries and unauthorised reproductions. "I have no need to make fakes," he once said. "I have all the original Dalís I could possibly want. This is all the result of envy." He later sold much of his collection. Many of the works were bought by the Dalí foundation; 400 were auctioned in Paris in 2003 for €4.5m.

Gibson, who knew Moore, described him as "great fun", but led astray by Dalí's avarice. "Dalí was cruel and heartless, immersed in his sleazy world, and everyone who ever worked with him got corrupted eventually," said Gibson.

Elizabeth Nash

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little