Henry Moore OM, CH Woman 1957–8

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This is one of the largest of Moore's sculptures of a seated female nude, and it was cast in an edition of nine. The original plaster is in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, and the curator there, Alan Wilkinson, has described this sculpture as 'one of the most potent images of fertility produced in the 20th century'. He also related it to Moore's early interest in Palaeolithic sculpture, an influence the artist readily acknowledged. Moore wrote of the work: ''Woman' has that startling fullness of the stomach and breasts. The smallness of the head is necessary to emphasize the massiveness of the body - if the head had been any larger it would have ruined the whole idea of the sculpture.'

September 2004

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