Henry Moore OM, CH

King and Queen

1952–3, cast 1957

In Tate Britain

Artist
Henry Moore OM, CH 1898–1986
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
Object: 1640 × 1390 × 910 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery with funds provided by Associated Rediffusion Ltd 1959
Reference
T00228

Display caption

Although this sculpture was made around the time of Elizabeth II’s coronation, its subject is not the modern constitutional monarchy. Instead it focuses on the ancient conception of the monarch as a divine or divinely blessed being.

Moore has combined naturalistic elements, for example the hands and feet, with more abstracted or primitivised ones, such as the heads. His intention was to suggest the blend of the human and celestial within kingship. This image of stable and benevolent authority resonated widely in the post-war climate of uncertainty.

Gallery label, August 2004

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