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Henry Moore

Reclining Figure

1898 – 1986

Reclining Figure
64 x 115 x 52.5 cm
Purchased with aid from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Wakefield Corporation and Wakefield Permanent Art Fund (Friends of Wakefield Art Gallery and Museums), 1942 © Reproduced by permission of The Henry Moore Foundation. Photography Jerry Hardman-Jones


Moore believed that the human figure was the most complex and subtle form that a sculptor could produce, and he soon discovered that wood offered advantages over stone. It was easier to work, allowing him to open up the sculpture, and it had its own sense of vitality, of a living, growing object.

The similarity between the undulating forms of a reclining figure and the hills and dips of the landscape – always an inspiration for Moore – is particularly evident in this work. Although Moore settled in Hertfordshire, he insisted that the references to landscape in his work were always to Yorkshire, where it was still possible to see the landscape ‘as primitive man saw it’.