Reclining Figure, 1975
Signed and dated
Pencil, crayon, chalk, watercolour on laid paper
10 1/4 x 7 3/4 in, 26 x 19.7 cm
Although largely regarded as Britain’s most significant modern sculptor, Henry Moore’s drawings have also achieved widespread acclaim in Art Historical circles and popularity among collectors. Indeed, Moore himself considered his...
Although largely regarded as Britain’s most significant modern sculptor, Henry Moore’s drawings have also achieved widespread acclaim in Art Historical circles and popularity among collectors. Indeed, Moore himself considered his drawing an important and powerful aspect of his oeuvre, and one he increasingly turned to in his later years as he succumbed to arthritis in his hands. The present work is an especially highly finished example of a sculptural form typical of Moore’s style presented in an abstract landscape—a unique characteristic of the artist’s pictorial work.
Echoing the abstract forms created over four decades previously, ‘Reclining Figure’ depicts skeletal and bone-like frames drawn open, hollowed out and pierced with cavernous holes. The image is built up with a variety of media in an effort to convey the light and depth captured by sculpture in two dimensions. As noted by Moore himself, “Good drawing for me is the ability to represent three-dimensional form in space, on a flat surface - perhaps that is why I think that sculptors should be more concerned with being able to draw than painters.” Initially invented by Moore during the war, the technique of layering wax, charcoal, and watercolor among other media was one that he continued to work in well in to his seventies.
James Kirkman Gallery, London
Private Collection, Japan
Private Collection, USA
New York, Wildenstein, Henry Moore: Drawings 1969-79, 1979-80
Ann Garrould (ed.), Henry Moore: Complete Drawings 1950-76, vol. 4 (Much Hadham, 2003), no. AG 75.24, p. 317, plate XXIII, illus.