Plaster on a wood bench
1488 x 1394 x 914 mm
Presented by the artist 1978
Technique and condition
The figure sits upon a roughly constructed, unvarnished wooden bench designed so that the right hand would be placed directly on its upper face. This hand is now slightly raised as a result of the figure being wedged up underneath its right thigh (fig.2). There is no record of this treatment in the conservation files, and it may therefore have been carried out at Moore’s studio prior to Tate’s acquisition of the sculpture in 1978. It was probably an attempt to lessen the stress on the figure’s ankles, which have cracked slightly due to the weight they were originally required to support (fig.3). The conservation report for this sculpture notes that it has also sustained a number of small losses and received repairs.
To cast a large sculpture in bronze the full-size plaster is often cut into sections so that a number of smaller, less complex moulds can be made. A repair to the neck of the plaster figure suggests that the head may have been removed for this purpose, and then reattached to the body after the moulds had been made (fig.4). Similar repairs can be seen at the top of the thigh, as well as on the upper arm and ankles.
How to citeLyndsey Morgan, 'Technique and Condition', March 2013, in Alice Correia, ‘Seated Woman 1957 by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, November 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www
Origins and facture
Moore used Maquette for Figure on Steps as the template for the large-scale sculpture. By systematically charting and measuring specific points on its surface using grids and set-squares, the maquette could be enlarged in plaster while retaining its original proportions. This process was probably carried out in the White Studio at Hoglands or, weather permitting, on the studio terrace. Much of the preliminary enlargement work would have been undertaken by one or more of Moore’s sculpture assistants, who in 1957 included Geoffrey Harris, Daryll Hill, Maurice Lowe and Stephen Rich.
Sources and development
Bathers is an emotional painting but not in a sentimental way. Cézanne had an enormous influence on everyone in that period, there was a change in attitudes to art. People found him disturbing because they didn’t like their existing ideas being challenged and overturned. Cézanne was probably the key figure in my lifetime.17
The Henry Moore Gift
How to cite
Alice Correia, ‘Seated Woman 1957 by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, November 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www