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Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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London

Henry Moore
1898 - 1986
MOTHER AND CHILD: CROSSED FEET
bronze
height: 23cm.
9in.
Executed in 1956 and cast in bronze in an edition of 9 plus 1 artist's proof.
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Provenance

Dr W. Schliom, Switzerland (acquired from the artist on 18th July 1957. Sold: Christie's, New York, 27th November 1989, lot 70)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Zurich, Kunsthaus, Henry Moore, 1960, no. 43
Geneva, Galerie Gérald Cramer, Henry Moore, 1962-63, no. 15

Literature

Robert Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, London, 1970, no. 510, illustration of another cast (titled Mother and Child No. 2)
Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, London, 1986, vol. 3, no. 407, illustration of another cast p. 28

Catalogue Note

In 1956 Henry Moore executed several sculptures on the theme of the seated female figure holding a child, and the present work is a wonderful and intimate example of this subject. This theme allowed the artist to experiment with the spatial relationships between the two figures – one larger and seated, the other smaller and standing – as he endeavoured to find a dynamic and harmonious compositional arrangement. In the present work, the mother is seated with her legs crossed and covered by a rhythmically undulating skirt, and her elongated arms are embracing the figure of the child standing on her lap.  Moore’s investigations into the relationship of internal and external forms were particularly intense in the early 1950s, and this dichotomy is beautifully rendered in the theme of mother holding a child.

 

As the artist himself commented about this subject: ‘The “Mother and child” idea is one of my two or three obsessions, one of my inexhaustible subjects. This may have something to do with the fact that the “Madonna and Child” was so important in the art of the past and that one loves the old masters and has learned so much from them. But the subject itself is eternal and unending, with so many sculptural possibilities in it – a small form in relation to a big form, the big form protecting the small one, and so on. It is such a rich subject, both humanly and compositionally, that I will always go on using it’ (H. Moore, quoted in Henry Moore: Skulpturen, Zeichnungen, Grafiken (exhibition catalogue), Galerie Ruf, Munich, 1983-84, n.p., note to no. 17).

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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London