Henry Moore OMCHFBA (British, 1898 – 1986)

7 Sculptural Ideas


Signed, dated and numbered ‘1 / 65 Moore / 73.’ (below the plate in pencil)

25.3/4 x 19.3/4in. (65.3 x 50.3cm.) (to paper edge)

Cramer 296/ Ketterer 138) 1973.

Published by Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, Munich, with their blindstamp

Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA (30 July 1898 – 31 August 1986) was an English artist. He is best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art. As well as sculpture, Moore produced many drawings, along with other graphic works on paper.

After the Great War he became a student at the Leeds School of Art, which set up a sculpture studio especially for him. There he met Barbara Hepworth (they would later study together at the Royal College of Art) and began a lifelong friendship and gentle professional rivalry.

Moore's signature form is the reclining figure. Moore's exploration of this form was influenced by the Toltec-Mayan figure he had seen at the Louvre. Moore's earlier reclining figures deal principally with mass, while his later examples contrast the solid elements of the sculpture with the space, not only around them but generally through them as he pierced the forms with openings.

"All art should have a certain mystery and should make demands on the spectator. Giving a sculpture or a drawing too explicit a title takes away part of that mystery so that the spectator moves on to the next object, making no effort to ponder the meaning of what he has just seen. Everyone thinks that he or she looks but they don't really, you know."

He turned down a knighthood in 1951 because he felt that the bestowal would lead to a perception of him as an establishment figure and that "such a title might tend to cut me off from fellow artists whose work has aims similar to mine". He was, however, awarded the Companion of Honour in 1955, the Order of Merit in 1963 and the Erasmus Prize in 1968.

By the end of his career, Moore was the world's most successful living artist at auction.  In 2012, his eight-foot bronze, Reclining Figure: Festival (1951) sold for a record £19.1 million at Christie's, making him the second most expensive 20th-century British artist after Francis Bacon. Most of the money he earned went towards endowing the Henry Moore Foundation, which continues to support education