Reclining Figure External Form 1953-54 (LH 299)


length 220cm

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. The Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund.

Photo: Travis Fullerton © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

I want to be quite free of having to find a ‘reason’ for doing the Reclining Figures, and freer still of having to find a ‘meaning’ for them. The vital thing for an artist is to have a subject that allows to try out all kinds of formal ideas – things that he doesn’t yet know about for certain but wants to experiment with, as Cézanne did in his ‘Bathers’ series. In my case the reclining figure provides chances of that sort. The subject-matter is given. It’s settled for you, and you know it and like it, so that within it, within the subject that you’ve done a dozen times before, you are free to invent a completely new form-idea.

Henry Moore quoted in John Russell, Henry Moore, Allan Lane The Penquin Press, London 1968, p.28