Catalogue entry


Not inscribed
Plaster, 77 × 26 3/4 × 27 1/4 (195.6 × 68 × 69.2)
Presented by the artist 1978
Exh: Henry Moore Sculptures et Dessins, Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, May–August 1977 (61, repr.); Henry Moore 80th Birthday Exhibition, Bradford Art Galleries and Museums, April–June 1978 (9); The Henry Moore Gift, Tate Gallery, June–August 1978, repr. p.29
Lit: Erich Neumann, The Archetypal World of Henry Moore, 1959, pp.126–7 (repr. pl.104); Herbert Read, Henry Moore, 1965, pp.182–6; Philip James (ed.), Henry Moore on Sculpture, 1966, p.247; John Russell, Henry Moore, 1968, p.121; David Sylvester, catalogue of Henry Moore, Tate Gallery, July–September 1968, p.85; John Hedgecoe and Henry Moore, Henry Moore, 1968, pp.131 (detail repr.), 198; Alan G. Wilkinson, The Moore Collection in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1979, pp.116–17
Repr: Herbert Read (intro.), Henry Moore Sculpture and Drawings 1949–1954, 1968, pl.25

This is the original plaster for L.H. 296, of which there are three bronze casts, one in the collection of the Kunsthalle, Hamburg. As with T02270, the British Council took a plaster cast from the original plaster for showing in their travelling exhibitions in the 1950s; this was afterwards loaned to Leeds City Art Gallery. The sculpture grew out of a maquette (L.H. 294) which was followed by a working model (L.H. 295).

In the book with John Hedgecoe (1968), Moore wrote about this work as follows. ‘I have done other sculptures based on this idea of one form being protected by another. These are some of the helmets I did in 1939 in which the interior of the helmet is really a figure and the outside casing of it is like the armour by which it might be protected in battle. I suppose in my mind was also the Mother and Child idea and of birth and the child in embryo. All these things are connected in this interior and exterior idea. There were two versions of this sculpture, one in bronze and one in wood. Wood has a warmer, more human feel to it than bronze, but at the time I was unable to find the right piece of wood for it. I had intended that it should be somewhere around nine or ten feet high, and as I did not want the idea to go stale on me I began it in plaster some six or seven feet high. Eventually after having started the plaster version and nearly finished it, my timber merchant told me he had found a piece of elm wood that was suitable and so I used that for the second version.’ (repr. L.H. vol. 2, pl.26, 26a, b). He also compared the outer shell to ‘petals which enclose the stamen of a flower. Besides acting as a protection, they provide an attraction.’ A related sculpture by Moore is actually entitled ‘Upright Internal/External Form (Flower)’ (L.H. 293a, b).

In conversation with the compiler (12 December 1980), the artist said that there were three fundamental ‘form ideas’ in his work, all of them rooted in the human figure: the reclining figure (his favourite), the mother and child (usually seated), and one form enveloping another, which might also include the mother and child motif. There are works which incorporate the first and last themes, such as L.H. 298 and 299, both closely related to T02272, and those which incorporate all three - for example, ‘Reclining Mother and Child’ 1960–1 (L.H. 480).

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