Henry Moore

Reclining Figure (1951)

About this artwork

This sculpture was commissioned by the Arts Council of Great Britain for the Festival of Britain exhibition in 1951. Moore was asked to make a carving of a family group symbolising 'Discovery', but he chose instead to make a large reclining figure in bronze. The Gallery's bronze is this original cast. Moore explained his liking for reclining figures in typically rational terms, observing that large standing figures have a weak point at the ankles. He began making reclining figures in the late 1920s, and in the late 1930s produced several small, bronze reclining figures: these established the long, sinewy form which culminated in this sculpture.

  • title: Reclining Figure
  • accession number: GMA 1098
  • artist: Henry MooreEnglish (1898 - 1986)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Sculpture
  • subject: Form
  • medium: Bronze
  • date created: 1951
  • measurements: 106.00 x 228.60 x 73.70 cm (plinth: 92.00 x 244.50 x 88.00 cm)
  • credit line: Presented by the Arts Council of Great Britain through the Scottish Arts Council 1969
  • copyright: © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Henry Moore

Henry Moore

Born in Yorkshire, Moore is regarded as one of the greatest sculptors of the twentieth century. He won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London in 1921, where he met fellow sculptor Barbara Hepworth. His early work was carved and, in keeping with his belief in 'truth to materials', he took account of the unique shape and texture of the material he carved. He rejected classical ideas of beauty in favour of vitality and was influenced by ancient sculpture as well as developments in European avant garde sculpture, such as the work of Jean Arp. Moore had strong socialist principles and felt that his work could be appreciated by everyone.