Wilfrid A. Evill, London (acquired from the above in August 1948)
Honor Frost, London (a bequest from the above in 1963. Sold: Sotheby’s, London, The Evill/Frost Collection I, 15th June 2011, lot 4)
Richard Green, London (purchased at the above sale)
Acquired from the above by the present owner in October 2011
London, The Home of Wilfrid A. Evill, Contemporary Art Society, Pictures, Drawings, Water Colours and Sculpture, 1961, no. 18
Brighton, Brighton Art Gallery, The Wilfrid Evill Memorial Exhibition, 1965, no. 112 (titled Women Winding Wool - The Fates)
The apparent domesticity of the subject matter is very much in keeping with Moore's drawings of 1945-46, where images of mothers bathing children, figures reading or knitting or simply sitting together are frequent. However, for most of these the everyday feeling is plain, and thus suggests a link to the 'family group' sculptures of the same period. Activities such as reading and knitting also feature in the 'shelter' drawings, and like his treatment of the subjects in the 1940-42 period, Moore seems throughout the decade to be able to differentiate within each group between the drawings which appear to offer a simple rendition of a subject as opposed to those which take on a more monumental quality.
Contemporary observers noted a growing element of classical feeling in Moore's work at this time, 'the fateful air of antique tragedy' (Kenneth Clark, 'Henry Moore: A Note on his Drawings', Buchholz Gallery, New York, 1943), and indeed his own taste towards Greek tragedy was to be amply displayed in the illustrations he produced for the published version of Edward Sackville-West's play The Rescue, based on Homer's Odyssey. Like T.S. Eliot, whose work Moore very much admired, his figures seem balanced between the real world and another darker and larger plane. For The Rescue Moore produced several images of Penelope and Eurynome at the loom, each day's work being carefully unpicked at night to delay the completion of the weaving, and of course the Greek imagery of the Moirae, The Fates, spinning out the destiny of mankind, was a powerful one. Within the context of the unfolding of the post-war political map and the changes and developments of society in those years, a subject like this seems replete with such intimations. Indeed, Moore returned to this same theme in 1948, culminating in The Three Fates (AG 48.27, Private Collection), a direct presentation of Lachesis, Clotho and Atropos holding the fragile thread of life.
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