Catalogue entry

T02278 FALLING WARRIOR 1956–7


Not inscribed

Bronze, 24 × 60 × 32 1/2 including base (61 × 152.4 × 82.5)
Presented by the artist 1978

Exh: Henry Moore, British Council, Museum Folkwang, Essen, July–August 1960 and tour to Hamburg, Zürich and Munich (43, repr.); Henry Moore: an exhibition of sculpture from 1950–1960, Whitechapel Art Gallery, December 1960–January 1961 (50, repr.); Henry Moore, British Council, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, June–July 1961 (37); Henry Moore, British Council, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, July–September 1961 (38, repr.); Henry Moore, Musée Rodin, Paris, 1961 (37, repr.); Henry Moore at King's Lynn, King's Lynn Festival, July–August 1964 (II); Henry Moore Sculpture and Drawings, New Metropole Arts Centre, Folkestone, April–May 1966 and City Art Gallery, Plymouth, June–July 1966 (31, repr.); Henry Moore, Arts Council, Tate Gallery, July–September 1968 (99, repr.); Henry Moore Exhibition in Japan, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, August–October 1969 (41, repr.); Mostra di Henry Moore, Forte di Belvedere, Florence, May–September 1972 (98, repr. in colour); The Henry Moore Gift, Tate Gallery, June–August 1978, repr. p.34
Lit: Will Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, 1960, pp.217–8 (detail repr. pl.168); Philip James (ed.), Henry Moore on Sculpture, 1966, p.22; David Sylvester in catalogue of Henry Moore, Tate Gallery, 1968, pp.127–8 (repr. pl.120; detail repr. pl.122); John Russell, Henry Moore, 1968, p.139 (repr. pl.136); John Hedgecoe and Henry Moore, Henry Moore, 1968, p.279 (repr. pp.276–9); Alan Bowness, Introduction to Henry Moore Sculpture 1964–73, 1977, p.8
Repr: Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore Sculpture 1955–64, 1965, pl.27–30; Herbert Read, Henry Moore, 1965, pl.192 in colour

This work is Lund Humphries 405; other casts are in various public collections. It is not to be confused with L.H. 404, the nine-inch long ‘Maquette for Fallen Warrior’ 1956, which was cast in an edition of nine bronzes and later enlarged to similar size as T02278. Moore was unhappy with the pose of the figure in this sculpture, whose left arm dangles limply and whose right foot appears to rest on a shield. He felt it to be ‘dead’ and ‘so ... altered it to make the action that of a figure in the act of falling, and the shield became a support for the warrior, emphasising the dramatic moment that precedes death.’ (Hedgecoe, op. cit., p.279)

Grohmann, discussing the ‘Warrior’ sculptures of this period, finds ‘Fallen Warrior’ to be the more ‘helpless’ and ‘Falling Warrior’ to possess greater ‘dignity’: ‘In both, the movement of sprawling, falling, propping himself up and lying on his back is seen from all sides and, as we walk round the figure, the view changes with every step.’ (op. cit., p.217). Alan Bowness uses ‘Falling Warrior’ to illustrate the relationship between the viewer's sense of his own body and his appreciation of figure sculpture: ‘The extraordinary impact of the “Falling Warrior” of 1956–7 ... derives from the half-conscious connection we immediately make between his fall and the idea of being ourselves in the same situation.’ (op. cit., 1977, p.8). He also proposes a source in Moore's drawings of miners for this work and the earlier ‘Warrior with Shield’ (L.H. 360).

In conversation with the compiler (12 December 1980), the artist said that photographs showing the plaster for ‘Falling Warrior’ at an early stage often appeared more directly expressive of his intentions than the finished sculpture. (One of these photographs is reproduced in John Read, Henry Moore: Portrait of an Artist, 1979, p.112). There were occasions such as this when he would have liked to have taken a cast of the work in progress.


Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981