Henry Moore OM, CH

Falling Warrior

1956–7, cast c.1957–60

Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
Object: 670 x 1540 x 850 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the artist 1978
Reference
T02278

Display caption

Moore was internationally famous for sculptures of female figures when, in the mid- 1950s, he produced a number of sculptures of vulnerable males. For these he looked to classical precedents, photographs and such other sources as the plaster casts of the victims of Pompeii. These suffering male figures spoke, perhaps, to current Cold War anxieties and memories of recent warfare.

Gallery label, September 2016

Catalogue entry

Entry

This sculpture depicts an almost life-size male figure positioned horizontally over a rectangular base. The figure holds a circular shield in his left hand, which is drawn up towards his head, and appears to be suspended in motion, hovering just above the base. The sculpture is attached to the base at three points: the left heel, the right hand, and the shield.
Although the figure is recognisably a human male, Falling Warrior is not represented naturalistically. The arms and legs are particularly thin and the head is disproportionately small when compared to the larger, bulbous belly and buttocks. When seen from the head and the foot of the base, the figure seems to twist at the waist, so that the left shoulder and the right hip are both higher than their counterparts (fig.1). In addition, the sculpture has not been positioned squarely within the limits of the base; instead the body is curved, with the head and the feet placed towards the rear of the base, and the hips positioned towards the front.
Fig.1
Falling Warrior 1956–7, cast c.1957–60 (view from head)
Tate T02278
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved
Fig.2
Detail of head of Falling Warrior 1956–7, cast c.1957–60
Tate T02278
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved


The head is represented by an oval disk, which is pierced by a single hole that creates a short tunnel linking the left and right sides of the face (fig.2). This hole appears to denote the eyes of the figure, but no other facial features have been represented apart from a slight upwards curve that distinguishes the chin from the neck.
The neck leads to an undulating upper chest, the left side of which swells while the right side dips to create a shallow hollow. From these differing forms the stomach swells to a rounded peak, which dips sharply to the figure’s genitalia. Two nipples and a navel have been denoted by round recessions on the chest and stomach and a penis has been modelled. The downward momentum of the sculpture is achieved through the enlargement of the belly and buttocks, which hang low, hovering just about the surface of the base. The weight of the sculpture seems to have amassed in these large curved areas. The heavy middle of the figure is accentuated by the slender limbs, a contrast that heightens the sense that the figure is falling, as the title suggests.

Alice Correia
February 2013

Notes

1
See John Russell, Henry Moore, London 1968, pp.125–6, and John Read, Portrait of an Artist: Henry Moore, London 1979, p.112.
2
[Richard Calvocoressi], ‘T.2278 Falling Warrior 1956–7’, The Tate Gallery 1978–80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981, pp.123–4.
3
Ibid., p.124.
4
Henry Moore cited in Donald Hall, ‘Henry Moore: An Interview by Donald Hall’, Horizon, November 1960, p.113, reprinted in Alan Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations, Aldershot 2002, p.226.
5
Moore cited in John Hedgecoe (ed.), Henry Moore, London 1968, p.300.
6
A photograph captioned ‘The finished Falling Warrior, 1956–57’ showing this full-size version of the sculpture is also included in Read 1979, p.114.
7
Moore cited in Hedgecoe 1968, p.279.
8
Henry Moore sales log book, Henry Moore Foundation Archive.
9
For a video explaining the lost wax process see http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/s/sculpture-techniques/, accessed 23 January 2014.
10
Moore cited in Hall 1960, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.234.
11
Julie Summers, ‘Gilding the Lily: The Patination of Henry Moore’s Bronze Sculptures’, in Jackie Heuman (ed.) From Marble to Chocolate: The Conservation of Modern Sculpture, London 1995, p.145.
12
Moore cited in Hall 1960, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.234.
13
Summers 1995, p.145.
14
Anon., ‘Mr. Moore’s New Sculpture: A Warrior To Be Proud Of’, Times, 12 June 1958, p.3.
15
Alan Bowness, ‘Masters at the Marlborough’, Art News and Review, no.11, 21 June 1958, p.5.
16
David Sylvester, ‘A New Bronze by Henry Moore’, Listener, 10 July 1958, p.51.
17
Ibid.
18
Frances Carey, ‘Sleeping Positions 1941’, in David Mitchinson (ed.), Celebrating Moore: Works from the Collection of the Henry Moore Foundation, London 2006, p.191.
19
Henry Moore cited in James Johnson Sweeny, ‘Henry Moore’, Partisan Review, March–April 1947, pp.184–5, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.266.
20
Kenneth Clark, Henry Moore: Drawings, London 1974, p.155.
21
Robert Melville, Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1921–1969, London 1970, p.16.
22
See David Mitchinson (ed.), Moore and Mythology, exhibition catalogue, The Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green 2007.
23
Ibid., p.15.
24
Henry Moore cited in Philip James (ed.), Henry Moore on Sculpture, London 1966, p.250.
25
Ibid.
26
Ibid.
27
Henry Moore, letter to Kenneth and Jane Clark, 28 February 1951, Tate Archive TGA 8812/1/3/2117.
28
Henry Moore cited in John and Vera Russell, ‘Conversations with Henry Moore’, Sunday Times, 24 December 1961, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.69.
29
Moore 1955, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.284.
30
Herbert Read, ‘Introduction’, in Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore. Volume 2: Sculpture and Drawings 1949–1955, 1955, 2nd edn, London 1965, pp.x–xi.
31
Roger Cardinal, ‘Henry Moore: In the Light of Greece’, in Henry Moore: In the Light of Greece, exhibition catalogue, Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art, Andros 2000, p.30.
32
Will Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, London 1960, pp.217–18.
33
Ibid., p.217.
34
Cardinal 2000, p.44.
35
Grohmann 1960, p.218.
36
Read 1965, p.xi.
37
David Sylvester, Henry Moore, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1968, p.7.
38
Henry Moore, Henry Moore at the British Museum, London 1981, p.60.
39
Cardinal 2000, p.42.
40
Grohmann 1960, p.217.
41
Moore 1955, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.284.
42
Melville 1970, p.211.
43
Chris Stephens, in conversation with the author, 1 November 2013.
44
See Henry Moore, letter to Raymond Coxon and Edna Ginesi [Peacham & Gin], [August/September 1936], Tate Archive.
45
John Read, Portrait of an Artist: Henry Moore, London 1979, p.113.
46
Kenneth Clark, Another Part of the Wood, New York 1974, p.256.
47
See Jeremy Lewison, Henry Moore 1898–1986, Cologne 2007, and Chris Stephens, ‘Anything But Gentle: Henry Moore – Modern Sculptor’, in Chris Stephens (ed.), Henry Moore, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London 2010, pp.12–17.
48
David Mitchinson, ‘Introduction: War and Utility’, Henry Moore: War and Utility, exhibition catalogue, Imperial War Museum, London 2006, p.16.
49
Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore. Volume 4: Complete Sculpture 1964–73, London 1977, p.8.
50
John Russell, Henry Moore, London 1968, pp.139.
51
Ibid., p.133.
53
Norbert Lynton, ‘Maquette for Fallen Warrior 1956’ in Mitchinson 2006, p.252.
54
[David Thompson], ‘Mr Henry Moore’s Exhilarating Exhibition’, Times, 28 November 1960, p.6.
55
Lawrence Alloway, ‘London Letter’, Art International, vol.4, no.10, December 1960, p.50.
56
Ibid.
57
Ibid.
58
Ibid.
59
See ‘Note on the Henry Moore Gift’, 1978, Tate Public Records TG 4/6/10/4.
60
These figures are based on those listed in a memo in the records for the exhibition. See Tate Public Records TG 92/344/2.
61
Norman Reid, letter to Mary Danowski, 31 August 1978, Tate Public Records TG 4/6/10/4.

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Falling Warrior by Henry Moore

Curator Chris Stephens on this work's composition

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