Osborne Samuel, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner in March 2015
David Mitchinson (ed.), Henry Moore Sculpture, London, 1981, no. 200, another cast illustrated p. 105
William S. Lieberman, Henry Moore, 60 Years of His Art, New York & London, 1983, another cast illustrated p. 80
John Hedgecoe, Henry Moore: A Monumental Vision, Cologne, 2005, no. 263, another cast illustrated p. 213
The small group of bronzes on the theme of the rocking chair that Moore executed in 1950-52 are the artist's only kinetic sculptures. Whilst they have their immediate beginning in the idea of making a sculpture with movement for his young daughter, their origin goes further back, to the 'family group' sculptures of the immediate post-war period and the earliest mother and child subjects which Moore had produced around 1930. Each bronze from this group offers a slightly different rendering of the theme, however they all share the sense of intimacy between the mother and her child.
In Rocking Chair No. 4, the combination of the formal sculptural concerns of weight and balance are held in perfect counterpoint to the joy of the subject, the mother lifting her child up high. Whilst the child is rendered in a relatively naturalistic, if simplified, style, the mother figure and the chair are much more schematised in a manner reminiscent of Moore's work produced in the 1930s. Although the mother and child theme was one that was an absolute bedrock of Moore's work, the intimacy of the two figures is very much an echo of that found in the drawings of the early to mid-1940s that see him exploring this relationship in the light of the commission for a large carved Madonna and Child for St. Matthew's Church in Northampton.
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