Interactive Tour of Perry Green

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Henry Moore, Large Reclining Figure

Large Reclining Figure in Spring

photo: Jennifer Harwood

bronze edition of 1 + 1
cast: Morris Singer, Basingstoke
length 900cm approx.

The reclining figure was a perennial motif for Moore and one that appears most memorably in this semi-abstract form of 1938. The original was a lead cast made by the artist and his assistant Bernard Meadows during experiments at Burcroft, the Moores' rural hideout in Kent. At an early stage the work was astutely purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but it was not until 1983, when the architect I.M. Pei was in need of a suitable sculptural foil to set off his Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation in Singapore, that this particular figure rose to prominence. Pei commissioned a gigantic enlargement over ten metres in length which was initially executed in fibreglass, with a unique bronze to follow; this bronze version of the original tiny figure was editioned at the same time in a series of casts made by the Royal College of Art. Moore, meanwhile, realised that the huge enlargement was exactly what he had been seeking for the top of a small hill left by quarry workings at the periphery of his land at Perry Green. The fibreglass was installed on this spot and, deemed a success, was eventually replaced by a second bronze, though not until after Moore's death in 1986.

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