• Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Maquette for Three Standing Figures - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
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Maquette for Three Standing Figures

Henry Moore

(English, 1898-1986)

Bronze with brown patina
Height: 10” (25.5 cm)

Conceived and cast in 1952
Edition of 7


Henry Moore was one of the 20th century’s greatest sculptors. After the Second World War, he became Britain’s best-known artist, both at home and abroad. He was influenced by European Modernism and developed an abstract sculptural language focused on subjects such as the mother and child, the family group, the reclining figure, the standing figure and the head.

The family group is perhaps one of Moore’s most renowned types – and a form that was central to his growth in fame in the 1940’s. Works such as Three Standing Figures 1947, a monumental stone piece made for the Open-Air Sculpture Exhibition at Battersea Park in 1948 (below), can be seen as a direct precursor to the current model.

Just as the human body inspired Moore’s forms, so did the natural world. He often derived ideas from objects such as pebbles, shells and bones, and the way he evoked them in his sculpture encouraged the viewer to look upon the natural world as an ever-changing sculpture, created continually by natural processes. Moore’s studio was crammed with what he called ‘library of natural forms’ which he used as direct influences for his sculptures. As the artist himself explained in 1963 to critic David Sylvester:

I look at them, handle them, see them from all round, and I may press then into clay and pour plaster into that clay and get a start as a bit of plaster, which is a reproduction of the object. And then add to it, change it. In that sort of way something turns out in the end that you could never have thought of the day before.

Moore did not come to the upright human figure as a subject until mid-career, but after the Three Standing Figures, for Battersea Park, he quickly developed the idea, and this format was central for the remainder of the 1950’s, and paved the way later in the decade for his ‘Upright Motives’ series, and later still, in his Stonehenge lithographs of 1972–3. Upright Motive No.1: Glenkiln Cross (below) is one of a series of standing sculptures made by Moore between 1955 and 1956. This is key to his oeuvre and there is a clear link between it and the artist’s later standing figures, such as Three Standing Figures. Moore’s abstracted standing figures have often been likened to Britain’s and Northern Europe’s Neolithic standing stones. Indeed, the sculptor visited Stonehenge in 1921, and retained an interest in these extraordinary forms throughout his career.

This 25.5 cm model from 1952, preceded a larger version in 1953 measuring 71.7cms. Examples of which are in: Blanden Memorial Garden, Iowa; The Hamburg Kunstalle; The Norton Simon Museum, Los Angeles; and The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.

Masterpiece London 2019

June 25, 2019 - July 3, 2019

Masterpiece London 2019 June 25, 2019 - July 3, 2019

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