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In 1932, the year he carved this, Moore was appointed Head of Sculpture at Chelsea School of Art. The pose of this figure is reminiscent of earlier carved portrait busts, but the abstracted treatment of the forms indicate Moore's interest in non-western art. In later life Moore wrote of his admiration for an Egyptian sculpture of a seated woman in the British Museum collections. He particularly enjoyed the way her head-dress was 'freed from the body so that you can look through its arches to the delicate neck inside'. In this sculpture Moore has created a similar effect by making a space between the figure's hair and her neck.

August 2004