I understand
arrow drop search cross

Art & artists > Our collection > Collection highlights >

Barbara Hepworth

Tibia Graft

1903 – 1975

Tibia Graft
Oil and pencil on paper
52.2 x 37.3 cm
Purchased 1951


In 1947 Hepworth was invited to observe an operation at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital in Exeter by the surgeon Norman Capener, who had treated her daughter Sarah during a severe illness a few years earlier.

Hepworth produced nearly 80 works as a result of subsequent visits to operating theatres in both Exeter and London. She was drawn to the craft of the surgeon in which she recognised so much of her own work as a sculptor.

The work highlights her skill as a draughtsperson and the ongoing importance of drawing from the figure as a means of developing her language of abstract forms.