Hill Arches 1973 (LH 636)


Church of St Charles

Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Vienna

length 550cm

photo: Sandra Ruth

The 1970s was a decade dominated by large bronze pieces. Works such as Sheep Piece 1971-72 (LH 626) and The Arch 1979-80 (LH 503b) are important examples of Moore’s use of this material on a monumental scale. The majority were cast at either the Hermann Noack foundry in Berlin or the Morris Singer Foundry in Basingstoke. Moore’s relationship with these two firms enabled him to expand his vision for many sculptural ideas, which had initially been created in the form of small ’maquettes’. These were tiny plaster or clay models made as a type of three-dimensional ketch. Through the use of maquettes, Moore was able to grasp the idea solidly, seeing it from all angles, rather than just flat on the picture plane. He was then able to envisage the size and scale of the sculpture that he wished to be enlarged and cast in bronze. At this time in his life, the sculptor was able to afford the high cost of creating these enormous bronze monuments, giving him the freedom to produce works beyond the means of most artists. The four piece Hill Arches was originally conceived to be placed on top of an artificial hill at the periphery of the Perry Green estate, a position later taken up by the Large Reclining Figure 1938 (LH 192b); its most memorable siting is the cast in front of the Karlskirche in Vienna.