Interactive Tour of Perry Green

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Henry Moore, Large Figure in a Shelter

Large Figure in a Shelter Summer 2011

photo: Jennifer Brewin

LH 652c
bronze edition of 1 + 1
cast: Morris Singer, Basingstoke
height 762cm

This sculpture relates to the series of helmet sculptures to which the artist returned throughout his life, the earliest example being from 1939-40. It was one of Moore's final works and was completed under the auspices of the late Bernard Meadows. 

Moore's continuing interest in the idea of an inner form protected by, but also contained within, an outer form is explored here with two monumental bronze forms that enclose the solitary figure of a third. Large Figure in a Shelter weighs over 21,000kg and was cast at the Morris Singer Foundry in Basingstoke. A second cast of this work stands in the Peace Park at Guernica in northern Spain.

In accordance with his wishes, The Foundation ceased all casting when Moore died in 1986. Large Figure in a Shelter, however, was at the foundry at the time of his death.  Under these unique circumstances, a clear protective lacquer was applied to the sculpture. With time and weather, the lacquer has degraded, leaving the base metal vulnerable to environmental damage. An ambitious project to restore the sculpture has now been completed. The restoration was led by James Copper who trained with Moore's own assistants for more than 12 years. In the course of the restoration, a rich gold-brown patina, in keeping with the majority of Moore's monumental bronzes, has been applied to the sculpture and polished with beeswax in order to allow the patina to develop naturally over time, in accordance with Moore's own approach.