Lot 14
  • 14

HENRY MOORE | Pointed Torso

600,000 - 800,000 GBP
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Henry Moore
  • Pointed Torso
  • inscribed Moore and numbered 8/12 on the base
  • bronze
  • height (including base): 66cm.
  • 26in.
  • Executed in 1969 and cast in bronze by Noack, Berlin in an edition of 12 plus 1 artist's proof.


Private Collection, UK (acquired from the artist. Sold by the estate: Sotheby's, London, 9th February 2005, lot 482) Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Robert Melville, Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, London, 1970, no. 746, another cast illustrated p. 325 Giulio Carlo Argan, Henry Moore, New York, 1971, no. 216, another cast illustrated (titled Torso

Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings, London, 1977, vol. IV, no. 601, another cast illustrated p. 56 and pls. 128 & 129

David Mitchinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Sculpture with Comments by the Artist, London, 1981, no. 450, another cast illustrated in colour p. 214

Catalogue Note

Pointed Torso dates from the height of Moore's career, when he had mastered the most technically complex expressions of human form and started moving towards a more purist, stylised artistic idiom. Moore himself described the progression of his sculpture as ‘becoming less representational, less outwardly a visual copy, and so what some people would call more abstract; but only because in this way I can present the human psychological context of my work with the greatest clearness and intensity’ (quoted in F. S. Wight (ed.), The Columbus Museum Exhibition Catalogue, 1984, p. 131).  

With its highly polished surface and a near-abstract manner, Pointed Torso brilliantly exemplifies this shift in the artist’s development and reflects the influence of Brancusi on his work. Giulio Carlo Argan wrote: ‘Brancusi considered form to be an object endowed with its own absolute spatiality, which resolves in itself the ambient space, crating the void. Moore’s contact with Brancusi was decisive. He credits Brancusi (and not the sculptors converted to Cubism) with eliminating the painterly or impressionistic modelling of the surface, the aura of sensitized and vibrant light and atmosphere forming the ambient space’ (G. C. Argan, op. cit., n.p.).


In the late 1960s Moore created several compositions, including Pointed Torso, using the pointed, almost piercing element that stands in sharp contrast to the soft curved forms that characterised most of his sculptural œuvre. Of these compositions, Pointed Torso is one that most resembles a human figure, as suggested by the title. As Moore explained, ‘the points are used to give action’ (quoted in D. Mitchinson (ed.), op. cit., p. 214). Whilst in some of the works these sharp forms define an inward action, as in Oval with Points (fig. 1) which has a Surrealist tone, in the present composition the points describe an action outwards, connecting the space of the figure with that of the spectator.