Henry Moore OM, CH

Upright Motive: Maquette No.3

1955–6, cast c.1956–61

Henry Moore OM, CH 1898–1986
Object: 278 x 95 x 75 mm
Lent from a private collection 2006
On long term loan

Not on display

Catalogue entry


Upright Motive: Maquette No.3 is a small, vertically orientated sculpture made of bronze that stands on a rectangular mahogany base. Its vertical shape is defined by a seemingly flat plane that runs through the centre of the sculpture and serves as a ground from which curved forms protrude in relief. Almost identical shapes appear on both sides of the sculpture in similar configurations, although each side is actually distinct.
The designs found on either side of the sculpture’s central plane can be divided into two sections. The lower section comprises a semi-cylindrical column or plinth standing on top of a rectangular base. A raised elliptical form marked by vertical grooves appears on both sides of the sculpture in the same position, near the centre of this column. On one side, just below and to the left of the elliptical form, is a deep circular hole (fig.1).
The central axial plane widens abruptly in the upper section of the sculpture and serves as a ground from which amorphous shapes protrude in low relief on both sides (fig.2). These irregular forms are bulbous and sinuous in appearance, with ridges and hollows that evoke skin being stretched over bone. Although the mass appears to be identical on both sides of the sculpture there are distinct differences between them, most notably the presence of a circular hollow on one side that is not fully realised on the other (fig.3).

Upright Motive: Maquette No.3 was one of thirteen small preparatory sculptures – known as maquettes – of upright motives made by Henry Moore in 1955. Five of these sculptures (numbers 1, 2, 5, 7, and 8) were subsequently enlarged.1 In 1968 Moore recalled:

Alice Correia
March 2013


See Upright Motive No.1: Glenkiln Cross 1955–6 (Tate T02274), Upright Motive No.2 1955–6 (Tate T02275), and Upright Motive No.7 1955–6 (Tate T02276).
Henry Moore cited in John Hedgecoe (ed.), Henry Moore, London 1968, p.245.
Ann Garrould, Henry Moore. Volume 4: Complete Drawings 1950–76, London 2003, p.73.
Although signed and dated ‘Moore 54’, the drawings are now officially dated 1954–6 because Garrould suggests that in this instance these inscriptions were added at an unknown later date.
Alan G. Wilkinson, Henry Moore Remembered: The Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Toronto 1987, p.160.
Henry Moore cited in Gemma Levine, With Henry Moore: The Artist at Work, London 1978, p.123.
Moore cited in Hedgecoe 1968, p.266.
Henry Moore at Perry Green, London 2011, p.17.
Henry Moore in ‘Henry Moore Talking to David Sylvester’, 7 June 1963, transcript of Third Programme, broadcast BBC Radio, 14 July 1963, Tate Archive TGA 200816, p.18. (An edited version of this interview was published in the Listener, 29 August 1963, pp.305–7.)
For a video explaining the lost wax process see http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/s/sculpture-techniques/, accessed 23 January 2014.
Henry Moore sales log book, Henry Moore Foundation Archive.
Henry Moore cited in Donald Hall, ‘Henry Moore: An Interview by Donald Hall, Horizon, November 1960, reprinted in Alan Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations, Aldershot 2002, p.234.
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.
Will Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, London 1960, p.197.
Anita Feldman Bennet, ‘Rediscovering Humanism’, in Henry Moore: In the Light of Greece, exhibition catalogue, Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art, Andros 2000, p.69.
[Richard Calvocoressi], ‘T.2281, Three Motives Against Wall No.2’, The Tate Gallery 1978–80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981, p.126.
John Russell in Henry Moore, John Russell and A. M. Hammacher, Drie Staande Motieven, Otterlo, 1965, unpaginated.
Henry Moore in Moore, Russell and Hammacher 1965, unpaginated.
Andrew Causey, The Drawings of Henry Moore, London 2010, p.71.
Grohmann 1960, p.198.
Herbert Read, Henry Moore: A Study of his Life and Work, London 1965, p.206.
Erich Neumann, The Archetypal World of Henry Moore, London 1959, pp.129–30.
Grohmann 1960, pp.198, 215.
For a biography of John Christopherson see Jane England, ‘Obituary: John Christopherson’, Independent, 2 September 1996, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary--john-christopherson-1361484.html, accessed 29 January 2014.
For a biography of Anne Christopherson see Patricia Craig, ‘Obituary: Anne Christopherson’, Independent, 29 September 2013, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/obituary-anne-christopherson-8847604.html, accessed 29 January 2014.

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like