Not on display
- Henry Moore OM, CH 1898–1986
- Plaster and wood
- Object: 1488 x 1394 x 914 mm
- Presented by the artist 1978
Henry Moore’s Seated Woman 1957 is a larger than life-size plaster sculpture of a female figure seated on a wooden bench. This work was later used to cast the sculpture in bronze in an edition of six plus one artist’s copy.
The figure, whose bodily proportions are not anatomically correct, is positioned so that her broad torso sits upright and twists slightly to the right, while her head faces forwards and her legs are angled to the left (fig.1). Moore has arranged the body on a gentle diagonal, which moves from the feet upwards and across the torso to the woman’s right shoulder. Two domed protrusions denote the woman’s breasts, below which the figure’s stomach, which is marked with a large depressed navel, bulges towards the right. From the rear a slightly concave groove can be seen running down the centre of the figure’s broad back, made more prominent by the lighter strip of plaster that runs its length (fig.2).
The figure has a long, thick neck that merges into a domed head (fig.3). A thin repair line encircling the neck suggests that the head was once detached from the body. The head has been sparsely modelled with a slightly tilted chin, two circular depressions in the position of eyes, and a subtle, rounded ridge suggestive of a nose. Scratched lines mark the face, and while some seem to suggest eyebrows, others, such as those below the right eye appear to be violent striations. The figure has an asymmetric hairstyle that closely resembles those of other female figures by Moore, with two buns protruding on the left and rear of her head.
Origins and facture
Sources and development
The Henry Moore Gift
Henry Moore cited in David Sylvester, ‘Henry Moore Talking to David Sylvester’, Listener, 29 August 1963, pp.305–6.
James Copper, Sculpture Conservator at The Henry Moore Foundation, in conversation with the author, 31 July 2013.
Henry Moore cited in John Hedgecoe (ed.), Henry Moore, London 1968, p.300.
Seated Woman was cast in an edition of six plus one artist’s copy. Casts are held in the collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.; and the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin.
Henry Moore cited in Henry J. Seldis, Henry Moore in America, New York 1973, p.222.
Alan G. Wilkinson, Henry Moore Remembered: The Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Toronto 1987, p.18.
See Will Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, London 1960, p.229.
Roger Berthoud cited by Julie Summers, ‘Working Model for Draped Seated Woman: Figure on Steps 1956’, in David Mitchinson (ed.), Celebrating Moore: Works from the Collection of the Henry Moore Foundation, London 2006, p.253.
Grohmann 1960, p.229.
Moore cited in Hedgecoe 1968, p.326.
John Spurling, ‘Father Earth’, New Statesman, 7 July 1978, p.31.
Henry Moore cited in Hew Wheldon (ed.), Monitor: An Anthology, London 1962, pp.21–2, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.147.
Henry Moore quoted in John Hedgecoe (ed.), Henry Moore. My Ideas, Inspiration and Life as an Artist, London 1986, pp.150–1. For an image of Paul Cézanne’s The Large Bathers 1900–6 see http://www
.philamuseum, accessed 23 May 2014. .org /collections /permanent /104464 .html
Alan Wilkinson, The Drawings of Henry Moore, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1977, p.52.
Moore cited in Hedgecoe 1968, p.329.
Erich Neumann, The Archetypal World of Henry Moore, London 1959, p.54.
Henry Moore, letter to Alan Wurtzburger, 4 March 1958, Henry Moore Foundation Archive.
Moore cited in Hedgecoe 1968, p.329.
Neumann 1959, p.32.
See ‘Note on the Henry Moore Gift’, 1978, Tate Public Records TG 4/6/10/4.
These figures are based on those listed in a memo in the records for the exhibition. See Tate Public Records TG 92/344/2.
Norman Reid, letter to Mary Danowski, 31 August 1978, Tate Public Records TG 4/6/10/4.