Catalogue entry

T02279 SEATED WOMAN 1957

Not inscribed
Plaster, 57 × 54 7/8 × 36 including wooden bench (144.8 × 139.5 × 91.5)
Presented by the artist 1978
Exh: Henry Moore at King's Lynn, King's Lynn Festival, July–August 1964 (12); The Henry Moore Gift, Tate Gallery, June–August 1978, repr. pp.36 and 37
Lit: Will Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, 1960, p.230 (bronze repr. pl. 179, 180); Philip James (ed.), Henry Moore on Sculpture, 1966, p.131 (bronze repr. pl.43, 44); David Sylvester in catalogue of Henry Moore, Tate Gallery, 1968, p.127 (bronze repr. pl.119); John Hedgecoe and Henry Moore, Henry Moore, 1968, pp.326, 329 (bronze repr.pp. 327, 8)

This is the original plaster for L.H. 435; there are six casts, one of which is in the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington. Moore wrote in 1968 (Hedgecoe, op. cit.) that he had always been ‘more interested in the female form than in the male’ and that both ‘Seated Woman’ and ‘Woman’ (T.2280 below) ‘have the big form that I like my women to have.’ He told the compiler (12 December 1980) that, while working on the back of ‘Seated Woman’, he was reminded of his mother whose back he used to massage with oils as a boy of seven or eight because she suffered from rheumatism. This gave him a knowledge of the back's contours, its soft and hard parts - like the features of a landscape - and he said that backs had consequently always been as important to him, and as interesting to sculpt, as fronts. Moore also wrote: ‘“Seated Woman” is pregnant. The fullness in her pelvis and stomach is all to her right. I don't remember that I consciously did it this way, but I remember Irina telling me, before Mary was born, that sometimes she could feel that the baby was on one side and sometimes on the other’ (ibid.).

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