Henry Moore OM, CH

Working Model for Reclining Figure (Lincoln Center)

1963–5, cast date unknown

Not on display
Henry Moore OM, CH 1898–1986
Object: 2349 x 3721 x 1651 mm
Presented by the artist 1978

Catalogue entry


Inscribed ‘Moore’ and stamped with foundry mark ‘GUSS:H.NOACK BERLIN’ on back of figure bottom right
Bronze, 92 1/2 × 146 1/2 × 65 (235 × 372.3 × 165.2)
Presented by the artist 1978
Exh: Henry Moore, Arts Council, Tate Gallery, July–September 1968 (89, repr.); Mostra di Henry Moore, Forte di Belvedere, Florence, May–September 1972 (128, repr.); The Henry Moore Gift, Tate Gallery, June–August 1978, repr. in colour p.55
Lit: Herbert Read, Henry Moore, 1965, p.250 (repr. pls.239, 240); Donald Hall, Henry Moore: The Life and Work of a Great Sculptor, 1966, pp.161–73; John Russell, Henry Moore, 1968, pp.193–4; John Hedgecoe and Henry Moore, Henry Moore, 1968, pp.345, 407–8; David Sylvester, catalogue of Henry Moore, Tate Gallery, 1968, p.93 (repr. pl.89); Paul Waldo Schwartz, The Hand and Eye of the Sculptor, 1969, pp.203–4 (repr.), 205–6; Alan G. Wilkinson, The Moore Collection in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1979, pp.184–5 (original plaster repr. pl.164)
Repr: Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore Sculpture 1964–73, 1977, pls.8–11; John Read, Portrait of an Artist: Henry Moore, 1979, p.95 (repr.in colour)

L.H. 518; the edition is limited to two bronzes. The original plaster is in the Moore Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario.

There is a large body of literature dealing with Moore's commission for the Lincoln Center, New York, much of it summarised by Bowness (op.cit., p.9) and Wilkinson. Both authors regard the final sculpture and its earlier, half-size working model (T02295) as the climax to the series of two- and three-piece reclining figures in which Moore explored the implications of the figure/landscape analogy. Moore himself saw the origin of the arched leg part of the Lincoln Center figure in the earlier ‘Two Piece Reclining Figure No.2’ (T00395), whose leg end reminded him of Monet's painting ‘Cliff at Etretat’: ‘I kept thinking of this arch as if it were coming out of the sea.’ (Hedgecoe, op. cit., p.345). It was intended that the Lincoln Centre sculpture should stand in a pool of water fourteen inches deep and the artist therefore took considerable care to work out the sculpture's reflection.

Moore's work on the Lincoln Center commission has prompted him to talk about the technical difficulties of enlarging sculpture to monumental size:... ‘A completely different perspective is physically involved. For example, the working model of the Lincoln Center sculpture was... just over seven feet high, while the finished sculpture was nearly fifteen feet high.

‘When I was working on the finished sculpture I found the perspective made the neck look shorter and the head look smaller. So I had to alter it to produce the same effect that I had achieved in the half-size working model.’ (ibid., pp.407–8)

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


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