Plaster on a wood base
391 x 233 x 131 mm
Presented by the artist 1978
Technique and condition
The surface of the sculpture is pale brown and has a slight sheen, indicating that it may have been coated with a varnish or shellac. This would have been applied as a release agent when a mould was taken from the plaster sculpture so that it could be cast in bronze at a professional foundry. A faint green tinge can be seen in recesses on the front and back of the sculpture, particularly on top of the head and on one of the sides (fig.3). These are likely to be stains produced by bronze dust settling on the surface at the foundry. There are no inscriptions on the plaster.
The base is made of unfinished softwood that is marked by saw marks and striations on all sides. Small, dark, circular marks on the upper surface appear to have been produced by charring and small splatters of red paint are visible on the front edge. Two bolts inserted through chiselled recesses on the underside – which has been painted red – fix the sculpture to the base (fig.4).
How to citeLyndsey Morgan, 'Technique and Condition', March 2011, in Alice Correia, ‘Three-Quarter Figure 1961 by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, April 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www
Although the body of the sculpture appears to be suggestive of a human female, the head is more reminiscent of an animal. It has a long, wide snout, at the end of which two equally-spaced circular incisions appear to represent nostrils. Raised ridges running down either side of the head are suggestive of eyes (fig.4). The projecting surfaces of the head, and the forehead and snout in particular, are much smoother than the heavily textured main body of the sculpture.
1 Green tinges on the surface are possibly the result of bronze dust settling on the sculpture while it was at the foundry, although curator Anita Feldman notes that in the 1970s Moore also used a pale green wash on his plasters ‘to emulate the bronze dust’.2 The surface also has a light sheen, suggesting that a varnish was applied to it at some point, probably after casting (fig.7).
Sources and interpretation
The Henry Moore Gift
How to cite
Alice Correia, ‘Three-Quarter Figure 1961 by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, April 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www