Draped Reclining Woman
1957–8, cast date unknown
1346 x 2083 x 914 mm
Presented by Gustav and Elly Kahnweiler 1974, accessioned 1994
Number 2 in an edition of 6 plus 1 artist’s copy
Technique and condition
Plasters of this size would usually be cut into sections at the foundry and individual moulds would be taken of each part to make the casting process more manageable. The cast bronze sections would then be welded together to make the completed sculpture. Weld joins would be carefully filed down and textured with a series of special punches to blend with the surrounding area. This process is called chasing and is the method by which repairs and joins on a bronze are disguised after casting. Draped Reclining Woman was cast at the Noack Foundry in West Berlin in an edition of six plus one artist’s copy. It is not possible to determine exactly which casting method was used to fabricate this sculpture, but the high level of surface detail suggests that it was cast using the lost wax process.
The sculpture is signed ‘Moore 2/6’ at the rear, close to where it meets the base (fig.3) and has been inscribed with the foundry mark ‘GUSS.H.NOACK.BERLIN’ (fig.4) to the right of this. On each of the two long sides of the base are two large slot-headed screws set flush with the surface. These are inserted to cover threaded holes that can be used as attachment points to help install the bronze on its base using slings and lifting equipment. When on display at Glyndebourne the base rests on a low concrete plinth.
How to citeLyndsey Morgan, 'Technique and Condition', January 2014, in Alice Correia, ‘Draped Reclining Woman 1957–8, cast date unknown by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, December 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www
Two evenly spaced circular depressions on the figure’s face denote eyes, in between which a slight notch delineates the tip of her nose (fig.2). The figure has a high forehead and her hair has been rendered through a series of overlapping craggy masses at the rear of the head (fig.3). When seen from the rear it is evident that the woman has a very broad torso and large buttocks (fig.4). From this angle the shape of the right thigh can be seen beneath the fabric of the skirt, which has been pulled taught, indicating that the legs are slightly parted. Her bare knees, shins and feet are placed almost horizontally and there is a gap between her two calves. Her ankles have little definition and the inner edge of the left foot balances on top of the right (fig.5).
Origins and contexts
Drapery can also, by its direction over the form, make more obvious the section, that is, show shape. It need not be just a decorative addition, but can serve to stress the sculptural idea of the figure.
Also in my mind was to connect the contrast of the size of folds, here small, fine, and delicate, in other places big and heavy, with the form of mountains, which are the crinkled skin of earth.14
Initial display and reception
The Kahnweiler Gift
How to cite
Alice Correia, ‘Draped Reclining Woman 1957–8, cast date unknown by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, December 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www