Henry Moore OM, CH

Maquette for Fallen Warrior

1956, cast 1956–7

Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
Object: 140 x 155 x 265 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Gustav and Elly Kahnweiler 1974, accessioned 1994
Reference
T06824

Summary

Maquette for Fallen Warrior, 1956, is the model for Falling Warrior, a large bronze sculpture of 1956-7, and was cast in an edition of ten (of which this is number two) plus an artist’s proof. Moore intended to show a wounded falling warrior and was dissatisfied with the maquette’s figure, which appeared dead to him. Therefore, when he came to make the final sculpture, he altered the composition, repositioning the warrior’s shield from near his right foot to his left hand, so that it would create the illusion of a mortally wounded man using the shield in order to break his ultimate fall. One of Moore’s few male representations, this is a tragic, writhing contrapposto figure, expressing dramatic energy and dynamism.

At the beginning of his career Moore worked mostly in stone. Subscribing to the modernist ethos of ‘truth to material’, his early pieces were carved directly, and not made from models by assistants. However, in the mid-1930s he began to vary his approach, often making clay maquettes that he would use to create the final work. Moore eventually moved on to casting his work in bronze as well as carving it in stone or wood. Liberated from the constraints of carving, the artist almost entirely eliminated drawing from his working process by the mid-1950s and explored his ideas through small maquettes. These had an intrinsic quality of immediacy or spontaneity and allowed him to imagine the finished product in the round. In 1968 he said, ‘with the kind of sculpture I do now, I need to know it from on top and from underneath as well as from all sides. And so I prefer to work out my ideas in the form of small maquettes which I can hold in my hand and look at from every point of view.’ (Quoted in Wilkinson, 2002, p.239.) In order to translate the scale of the work more effectively from portable to over life-size, he often made larger working models as an intermediate stage between the maquette and the finished sculpture.

Moore’s maquettes were typically cast in bronze in editions of up to ten. The sculptor strove for monumentality in his work and tried to imbue the same quality in the small maquettes. He also took a great deal of care with their finish. Some were more polished than others, some darker, some greener. Moore did all the patination himself, treating the bronze with different acids to achieve different effects then working on it by hand, rubbing and wearing it down.

Further reading:
Henry Moore: Maquettes and Working Models, exhibition catalogue, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City 1987
Alan Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations, Aldershot 2002
Giorgia Bottinelli, ‘Henry Moore’, in Jennifer Mundy (ed.), Cubism and its Legacy: The Gift of Gustav and Elly Kahnweiler, exhibition catalogue, Tate Modern, London 2004, pp.82-7, reproduced p.85 in colour

Giorgia Bottinelli
March 2004

Display caption

By the mid-1950s Moore had almost entirely eliminated drawing from his creative process and explored his ideas through small maquettes. These had an intrinsic quality of immediacy or spontaneity and allowed him to imagine the finished product in the round. In order to translate the scale of the work more effectively, he often made larger working models as an intermediate stage between the maquette and the finished sculpture. Moore’s maquettes were typically cast in bronze in editions of up to ten. The sculptor strove for monumentality in his work and tried to imbue the same quality in the small maquettes. He also took a great deal of care with their finish. Some were more polished than others, some darker, some greener. Moore did all the patination himself, treating the bronze with different acids to achieve different effects then working on it by hand, rubbing and wearing it down.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Entry

Maquette for Fallen Warrior is a small bronze sculpture of a male human figure positioned horizontally on a bronze base. A round shield in an upright position is placed at the figure’s feet. Although at first glance the figure appears to be lying on the base, closer inspection reveals that he is only resting on the base at three points: the left heel, the left hip and the right hand. Seen from the front, the figure’s head is to the viewer’s right and the feet are to the left. The base has two tiers that take the form of different sized rectangular steps. The body, head and legs of the figure are positioned on the larger uppermost step, while the left arm extends downwards onto the lower, narrower step at the front.
Although the figure is recognisably a human male, Maquette for Fallen Warrior is not represented naturalistically. The arms and legs are particularly skinny and the head is disproportionately small when compared to the larger, bulbous belly and buttocks. When seen from the side the figure appears to be curved; the head and the feet are placed towards the front of the upper tier of the base while the hips are twisted towards the rear (fig.1). The figure appears to be writhing and much of the body is balanced on the left hip.
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. On the left side of the head a thin ridge protrudes sideways, which may represent an ear. The ridge extends over the crown of the head to the right side, extending outwards to create a right ear. No other facial features have been represented apart from a slight curve and incision that distinguishes the chin from the neck.
Henry Moore
Fig.1
Henry Moore
Maquette for Fallen Warrior 1956, cast 1956–7 (view from head)
Tate T06824
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved
Fig.2
Detail of head of figure in Maquette for Fallen Warrior 1956, cast 1956–7
Tate T06824
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved

The neck leads to a heavily defined chest with clearly incised fan-shaped pectoral muscles, each marked with a shallow, circular indentation denoting nipples (fig.3). However, while the left pectoral appears smooth and muscular, the surface of the right muscle is rough, giving the impression that it is sunken and that bones are pushing against the skin. From these differing forms the stomach swells to a rounded peak, and is capped with a small round indentation denoting the navel. Moving along the length of the body the stomach then dips sharply to the figure’s genitalia. The weight of the sculpture seems to have amassed in the stomach and hip areas, which are made of curved and rounded forms. The heavy middle of the figure is accentuated by the slender limbs.

Alice Correia
February 2013

Notes

1
James Copper, Sculpture Conservator, The Henry Moore Foundation, in conversation with the author, 31 July 2013.
2
Henry Moore cited in John Hedgecoe (ed.), Henry Moore, London 1968, p.300.
3
Ibid., p.279.
4
For a video explaining the lost wax process, see http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/s/sculpture-techniques/, accessed 23 January 2014.
5
Henry Moore sales log book, The Henry Moore Foundation Archive.
6
See 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.
7
Henry Moore sales log book, The Henry Moore Foundation Archive.
8
Summers 1995, p.145.
9
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.234.
10
Summers 1995, p.145.
11
Henry Moore cited in James Johnson Sweeney, ‘Henry Moore’, Partisan Review, March–April 1947, pp.184–5, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.266.
12
Kenneth Clark, Henry Moore: Drawings, London 1974, p.155.
13
Frances Carey, ‘Sleeping Positions 1941’, in David Mitchinson (ed.), Celebrating Moore: Works from the Collection of the Henry Moore Foundation, London 2006, p.191.
14
Robert Melville, Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1921–1969, London 1970, p.16.
15
David Mitchinson, ‘Moore and Mythology’ in David Mitchinson (ed.), Moore and Mythology, exhibition catalogue, The Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green 2007, p.15.
16
Henry Moore cited in Philip James (ed.), Henry Moore on Sculpture, London 1966, p.250.
17
Ibid.
18
Ibid.
19
Will Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, London 1960, pp.217–18.
20
Ibid., p.217.
21
Ibid.
22
Ibid., p.218.
23
Ibid.
24
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.44.
25
Herbert Read, ‘Introduction’, in Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore. Volume 2: Sculpture and Drawings 1949–1955, 1955, 2nd edn London 1965, pp.x–xi.
26
Henry Moore cited in John and Vera Russell, ‘Conversations with Henry Moore’, Sunday Times, 24 December 1961, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.69.
27
Moore 1955, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.284.
28
Cardinal 2000, p.30.
29
David Sylvester, Henry Moore, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1968, p.7.
30
Henry Moore, Henry Moore at the British Museum, London 1981, p.60.
31
Cardinal 2000, p.42.
32
Grohmann 1960, p.217.
33
Moore 1955, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.284.
34
Melville 1970, p.211.
35
Chris Stephens, in conversation with the author, 1 November 2013.
36
See Henry Moore, letter to Raymond Coxon and Edna Ginesi [Peacham & Gin], [August/September 1936], Tate Archive.
37
Kenneth Clark, Another Part of the Wood, New York 1974, p.256.
38
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.
39
David Mitchinson, ‘Introduction: War and Utility’, in Henry Moore: War and Utility, exhibition catalogue, Imperial War Museum, London 2006, p.16.
40
For a full account of the Kahnweiler Gift, see Jennifer Mundy (ed.), Cubism and its Legacy: The Gift of Gustav and Elly Kahnweiler, exhibition catalogue, Tate Modern, London 2004.

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