Henry Moore

Draped Reclining Figure

LE Lithograph

# 2 of 50 

signed and numbered by the artist

image area approx 30" wide x 18" high

framed size approx 40" wide x 26" high
excellent condition. 


Professionally matted and framed in original gallery frame.  Certificate of authenticity from Wolf Schulz Gallery in London.

Modernist sculptor Henry Moore was the most celebrated sculptor of his time.  Moore was born in July 1898 in Castleford, Yorkshire, Englands.  In September 1919 he attended Leeds School of Art on an ex-serviceman's grant. He was soon recognized as a star pupil, and in 1921 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London.  Moore acquired a great interest in primitive art, particularly pre-Columbian sculpture.   In 1926 he held his first one man show, which attracted some distinguished purchasers including Augustus John, Henry Lamb and Jacob Epstein. He was also commissioned to provide a sculpture for the new London headquarters of the London Underground.


Moore  was driven by the idea of direct carving, and at this time everything was laboriously hewn by hand. Moore, though reluctant to join any stylistic grouping, became interested in Surrealism, and showed at the International Exhibition of Surrealist Art held in London in 1936. This was also the year in which his work was first seen in the USA: he was included in an exhibition entitled Cubism and Abstract Art, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


In 1943 that he received a  commission for a figure of a Virgin and Child for the church of St Matthew's, Northampton. This was his first draped figure and a more traditional and accessible image than anything he had made so far. The theme of mothers and children continued in his post war sculpture, inspired now by something personal - the birth of a daughter in 1946.


The year 1946 also marked an important stage in the growth of Moore's public reputation - a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York was a triumphant success. The show later travelled to Chicago and San Francisco, and then on to Australia. In 1948 Moore was asked to take part in the first post war Biennale in Venice, and carried off the main prize for sculpture. His stature as an artist of international reputation was thus confirmed.


Moore now began to shift from direct carving to the modeling he had once despised. He began in 1952 by building an experimental foundry at the bottom of his garden, in order to learn the fundaments of the process.


Moore created a large number of commissioned works on a massive scale. Some of these, like the screen for the Time Life building in London executed in 1952, could be carved, but others, like the massive Reclining Figure for the Lincoln Center in New York (1961-65), had to be cast. Others again, like another Reclining Figure made for the Unesco Headquarters in Paris (1957-58), though still made of stone, were largely shaped by assistants. 


In his final years, Moore was increasingly criticized for the amount of work he was prepared to leave to his assistants, and for the resulting insensitivity of surface in many of his larger works. The best of his late work is to be found in his drawings. While those of his active maturity nearly always seem to have been made with sculpture in mind.


He was made a Companion of Honour in 1955, and a member of the Order of Merit in 1963. These marks of distinction showed the extent to which Modernist art had now been absorbed and accepted by the traditionally conservative British cultural establishment. His work remained in demand to the end of his life, and continues to fetch high prices at auction.

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