48
48

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FAMILY COLLECTION

Henry Moore
RECLINING FIGURE ON PEDESTAL
Estimate
Monumental item
Lots with this symbol are extremely large
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,395,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
48

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FAMILY COLLECTION

Henry Moore
RECLINING FIGURE ON PEDESTAL
Estimate
Monumental item
Lots with this symbol are extremely large
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,395,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York

Henry Moore
1898 - 1986
RECLINING FIGURE ON PEDESTAL
Inscribed Moore and numbered 8/9
Bronze
Height: 50 3/8 in.
127.9 cm
Conceived in 1959-60 and cast in 1960 in an edition of 9 by the Art Bronze Foundry, London.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

This work is recorded in the archives of the Henry Moore Foundation.

Provenance

Galerie Hervé Odermatt, Paris

Ronne & Joseph S. Wohl, New York (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 10, 2000, lot 159)

Acquired at the above sale

Literature

Herbert Read, Henry Moore: A Study of his Life and Work, London, 1965, illustration of another cast p. 228

Ionel Jianou, Henry Moore, Paris, 1968, no. 437, illustration of another cast pl. 86

Robert Melville, Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, London, 1970, illustration of another cast pls. 600-01 

Alan Bowness, ed., Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings, vol. 3, London, 1986, no. 456, illustrations of another cast p. 43 & pls. 88-89

Catalogue Note

"There are three fundamental poses of the human figure. One is standing, the other is seated, and the third is lying down… But of all the three poses, the reclining figure gives me the most freedom compositionally and spatially."

Henry Moore

 

The present bronze belongs to a series of reclining figures that Moore created in the aftermath of the celebrated sculpture he was commissioned to make for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, which he completed in 1958. Moore was at odds with the practice of making a sculpture for an existing building as a simple enhancement to the architecture, and thought of his sculpted figures as independent works of art that needed to be seen at all angles. His solution was to create an architectural element for the sculpture itself, and during this period he created several works in which his figures were positioned on stairs, in front of a wall, or—in the case of the present work—on a raised pedestal.

The challenge of relating a sculptural figure to its architectural surroundings continued to fascinate Moore for the remainder of the decade, resulting in a number of sculptures which combine the human form with the man-made. In the present work, the two-part pedestal has a dual role in the relationship between the figure and the viewer: on one hand it raises the figure closer to the observer’s eye-level thus making it more accessible, while on the other it creates an independent and private space in which the figure exists.

The subject of a reclining figure, explored in this large-scale work, is probably the single most iconic image of Henry Moore’s oeuvre. Initially inspired by Mexican sculpture, this subject recurs throughout the artist’s career, ranging from organic forms to near-abstract, geometric ones, and including several monumental versions. Moore explained his fascination with this motif: "The vital thing for an artist is to have a subject that allows you to try out all kinds of formal ideas—things that he doesn't yet know about for certain but wants to experiment with, as Cézanne did in his 'Bathers' series. In my case the reclining figure provides chances of that sort. The subject-matter is given. It's settled for you, and you know it and like it, so that within it, within the subject that you've done a dozen times before, you are free to invent a completely new form-idea" (quoted in J. Russell, Henry Moore, London, 1968, p. 28).

Discussing Moore’s reclining figures, Ionel Jianou observed: "All the problems of his sculpture are dealt within them: constructing a volume in space by opposing masses, the inner energy and organic vitality of form, open form introducing space inside the solid, the figure in several dislocated pieces, the relationship of internal and external forms, the integration of sculpture with landscape"(I. Jianou, op. cit., n.p.). Indeed, Reclining Figure on Pedestal displays most of these elements; the lightness of the curved figure stands in contrast to the solidity of the pedestal. At the same time, the figure’s flat top and multi-arched lower section echo the structure that supports her. The combination of the organic and rhythmic shape of the human form and the solidity of the pedestal makes this a wonderfully dynamic work.

The plaster for Reclining Figure on Pedestal is in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Several bronze casts are in public collections, including Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas, University Art Gallery in Binghampton, New York and Didrichsen Art Museum in Helsinki.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York