Lot 20
  • 20

Henry Moore

2,000,000 - 3,000,000 USD
1,455,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Henry Moore
  • Mother with Child on Lap
  • inscribed Moore and numbered 8/9
  • bronze
Conceived in 1982 and executed in an edition of nine.


Private Collection
Pace Wildenstein, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above on June 3, 1999


Helsinki, Didrichsenin Taidemuseo, Henry Moore in Memoriam, January-March, 1987, n.p.
New York, James Goodman Gallery, Henry Moore: A Centennial Exhibition, October-November, 1998, n.p., no. 25, illustrated in color (titled Working Model for Mother and Child on Lap)
New Haven, Yale Center for British Art, Henry Moore and the Heroic: A Centenary Tribute, January-March, 1999, n.p., no. 26, illustrated in color (titled Working Model for Mother and Child on Lap)


Alan Bowness, Ed., Henry Moore Complete Sculpture, 1980-1986, vol. 6, London, 1988, p. 51, no. 870, illustration of another cast pls. 97-99
Exh. cat., Switzerland, Castelgrande de Bellinzona & Naples, Italy, Castel Nuovo, Henry Moore, gli ultimi 10 anni, 1995, p. 96, no. 35, illustration of another cast
Alan Bowness, Ed., Henry Moore Complete Sculpture1980-1986, vol. 6, London, 1999, p. 53, no. 870, illustration of another cast pls. 108-110

Catalogue Note

The theme of maternity was a central motif in Moore's art. Figures of mothers with their babies appear throughout his career, usually at times in his life when parenthood was particularly on his mind. Moore was a new grandfather and nearing the end of his life when he created the present work, and his own experiences with his grandchild inspired several sculptures devoted to this theme. In the present work, Moore renders the seated mother cradling her baby, and her block form and pyramidal pose call to mind iconic Renaissance images of the Madonna. Although the figures are dramatically abstracted, Moore invests the sculpture with warmth and tenderness. Writing about the attractions of this subject matter for Henry Moore, Anne Garrould has stated: “The mother-and-child theme is concerned with a subject which was not only very close to Moore’s heart but also with the contours and shapes in which Moore delighted—the swelling breast, the rounded thigh, the arched back, the curving, cradling arm.” (Exh. cat., Hempsted, New York, Hofstra University Museum (& travelling), Mother and Child: The Art of Henry Moore, 1987-88, p. 22)

It was not just the form which attracted Moore towards this theme. The sculptor’s function – creating an artwork from a block of stone, a plaster, a bronze cast – draws parallels to the process of gestation, birth and nurture. “The theme of the mother and child, not only refers to the paternal relationships but is about fertility, maternity, and growth—universal ideas. It evokes images of the egg, the womb, and the uncarved stone…. The mother and child motif goes beyond the images to a primal motif based on the theme of life and birth, for Moore it means creativity. The art is reminiscent of some of the earliest primitive images due to its conceptual base. Moore’s work is an attempt to get at the essential nature and to shape it from within.” (G. Gelburd in ibid., p. 39)

Other casts of this work are included in the collections of the Henry Moore Foundation and the Hakone Open-Air Museum.