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From the mid-1920s Moore had advocated the abolition of the 'Greek ideal' in sculpture in favour of non-European sources, which he felt had much greater vitality. This work reveals his fascination with the Mesopotamian sculptures in the British Museum, especially solemn standing figures with clasped hands. He reviewed a book on Mesopotamian art for 'The Listener' in June 1935. Around 1931-2 Moore also turned his attention to the study of natural forms, such as shells, bones and pebbles. He then brought together his studies in natural forms with his admiration for non-European 'primitive' sculpture and began to introduce a rhythmic and non-naturalistic approach to the depiction of the human figure.

August 2004