1898 - 1986
Mother and Child: Round Form, 1980
Inscribed and numbered 'Moore 1/9'
Bronze. Conceived and cast in 1980 by the Fiorini Foundry in an edition of 9 plus 1 artist's proof.
7 3/4 x 4 3/8 x 5 3/8 in, 19.7 x 11 x 13.6 cm
The Mother and Child was for Henry Moore ‘one of my two or three obsessions, one of my inexhaustible subjects…(it) is eternal and unending.’ From the Second World War onwards,...
The Mother and Child was for Henry Moore ‘one of my two or three obsessions, one of my inexhaustible subjects…(it) is eternal and unending.’ From the Second World War onwards, the relationship between parent and child took a potent new meaning for the artist, becoming a defiant symbol of love, protection and essential humanity. For Moore the portrayal of this intimate relationship was also deeply personal. Throughout the first ten years of his marriage, Moore and his wife Irina struggled to have a child, until 1946 with the birth of their daughter Mary.
‘Mother and Child: Round Form’ is a graceful reimagining of this crucial motif in Moore’s oeuvre. Stylistically it allowed for Moore to experiment with the relationship between large and small forms, while thematically he could handle notions of intimacy and regeneration. The bodies are reduced to their elemental shapes in an embrace of modern abstraction that disrupts the traditional repose of the seated Madonna and infant Christ. Moore was particularly drawn to the essential balance between internal and external forms, suggesting that the relationship between ‘an outer protection to an inner form’ is like the relationship between mother and child.
Moore cast this sculpture in an edition of nine, with his proof remaining in the collection of the Moore Foundation and the sixth edition now being in Yale Center for British Art. In 1980, the same year as ‘Mother and Child: Round Form’ was cast, Moore was exhibited at the V&A, London; Haus der Kunst, Munich and Wildenstein, Buenos Aires.
Private Collection, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
Private Collection, New York
Sotheby’s, New York,
November 13, 1996, lot 314
Private Collection, London (acquired from the above)
Jeanne Frank Gallery, New York
Private Collection, East Coast USA (acquired from the above 17 March 1997)
Alan Bowness, ed., Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, 1980-1986, vol. 6, London, 1988, p. 51, no. 789, illus. of another cast pl. 38
This work is recorded in the archives of the Henry Moore Foundation