Made in Britain Day Auction

Made in Britain Day Auction

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 125. Seated Figure on Square Steps.

Henry Moore, R.A.

Seated Figure on Square Steps

Auction Closed

June 7, 03:45 PM GMT


100,000 - 150,000 GBP

Lot Details


Henry Moore, R.A.

1898 - 1986

Seated Figure on Square Steps


height: 19cm; 7½in.; width: 23.5cm; 9½in.; depth: 23.5cm; 9½in.

Conceived and cast by Fiorini in 1957, the present work is from the edition of 13 plus 1 Artist's Cast plus 1 Plaster Cast from 1957.

 The present work is registered with the Henry Moore Foundation as LH 436, cast j.

Zwemmer Gallery, London, where acquired by the previous owner in the late 1950s, and thence by descent to the present owner

Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, 1955-64, Vol. 3, Lund Humphries, London, 1965, no. 436, illustrated p. 26 (another cast)

Ionel Jianou, Henry Moore, Arted, Paris, 1968, no. 415, p. 82

Robert Melville, Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, Thames and Hudson, London, 1970, no. 553, illustrated p. 360 (another cast)

Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture: 1955-64, Vol. 3, Lund Humphries, London, 2005, no. 436, illustrated pp. 36-37 (another cast)

London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Henry Moore: Sculpture 1950-1960, November - December 1960, no. 51 (another cast)

Saint Paul de Vence, Fondation Maeght, Henry Moore: Rétrospective, July - November 2002, no. 143 (another cast)

During the 1950s Moore received a number of important commissions for large scale sculptures to be placed in architectural settings with the most significant of these being Draped Reclining Figure for the Time-Life Building in London in 1952 and Unesco Reclining Figure for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in 1957. While working on the latter between 1955 and its completion in 1957, the importance of the commission drove Moore to claim, 'I have given up all my other work'. As a consequence many works from the period have their origins in this project, including the present work, although in these related sculptures of seated or reclining, draped or undraped women, he conceived several that 'might work out as sculpture purely for myself' (Henry quoted in, R. Berthoud, The Life of Henry Moore, London, 1987, p. 263; c.f. HMF418-440).

In these investigations, the seated figure represented a significant change from the standing and reclining figures that he had previously executed and were a sculptural challenge as they depended on an architectural support for the figure. This challenge of relating the figure to its built surroundings continued to fascinate Moore and during this period he produced a number of maquettes and larger bronzes in which the composition consists of the figure situated against an architectural backdrop.

Having experimented with seating his figures on benches, blocks, and rigidly angular staircases in order to find a way to place a sculpture against a building, in Seated Figure on Circular Steps, the curved sweeping steps with their horizontal linear design project a sense of intimacy and protection, while allowing for the figure to be seen from all angles and positions.