127
127

EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE IS REAL: PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Henry Moore
FAMILY GROUP
Estimate
300,000500,000
LOT SOLD. 400,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
127

EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE IS REAL: PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Henry Moore
FAMILY GROUP
Estimate
300,000500,000
LOT SOLD. 400,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York

Henry Moore
1898 - 1986
FAMILY GROUP
Bronze
Height: 5 in.
12.7 cm
Conceived in 1945 and cast in an edition of 7 plus 1 artist's proof by the Gaskin Foundry, London. 
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

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

Provenance

Private Collection, United Kingdom (and sold: Sotheby's, London, June 23, 1993, lot 329)
Acquired at the above sale

Literature

Ionel Jianou, Henry Moore, Paris, 1970, no. 226, p. 74
David Sylvester, ed., Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1948, vol. I, London, 1988, no. 239, p. 15

Catalogue Note

The theme of mother and child was one of two central motifs, along with the reclining woman, that obsessed Moore for the duration of his life. This theme assumed particular poignancy in the wake of World War II, when Moore's family groups became symbols of the domesticity and familial bonds which were damaged by the war. The family group also held a particularly personal resonance as Moore and his wife Irina had their first and only child, Mary, a much longed for addition to the family, in 1946 after many years of marriage. Conceived just one year before Mary’s birth, the present work evokes the convergence of these forces, both patriotic and personal.

The image of the primal maternal bond was redolent with religious connotations of the Madonna and Child, but its appeal was also secular and universal. Moore looked to ancient art, Mexican and Sumerian cultures, as well as classical antiquity for inspiration in his earliest stone carvings in the 1920s. The seventh of eight children in a coalmining family, Moore was born in the industrial town of Castleford in Yorkshire. While his father was strict, hard-working and ambitious, his mother was "feminine, womanly, motherly… She was to me the absolute stability, the whole thing in life that one knew was there for one’s protection" (Henry Moore quoted in Norbert Lynton, "The Humanity of Moore," in Henry Moore, The Human Dimension, London, 1991, p. 21).

Moore explored the mother and child motif in more and less direct guises throughout the 1920s and 1930s: from babies nursed and cradled by their mothers to more abstract interpretations of two separate but related forms or even hollows with distinct elements held within an interior space. As the artist explained, “The idea of the family group crystallised before the war. Henry Morris, the Director of Education for Cambridgeshire, asked me to do a sculpture for the Impington Village College, the first of the modern schools in England. It had been designed by Walter Gropius. As the College was going to be used for adult education as well, the idea of connecting parents and children came into my mind. I think that the first family group drawings and maquettes were done in 1935-6, although I didn’t actually make the full-size sculpture until later" (quoted in John Hedgecoe & Henry Moore, Henry Moore, New York, 1968, p. 163).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York