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Art & artists > Our collection > The Hepworth Family Gift >

Barbara Hepworth

Miniature Divided Circle

1903 - 1975

Miniature Divided Circle
Plaster, painted gold and dark blue, on a grey painted plaster base
23 × 25 × 9.8 cm
Presented by the artist’s daughters, Rachel Kidd and Sarah Bowness, through the Trustees of the Barbara Hepworth Estate and the Art Fund


This sculpture appears to have been made by a combination of casting two solid pieces of plaster in a simple form in the studio, after which the surface would have been carved and worked. Unusually it is signed and dated, including the number 9 to dictate the number of bronze casts in the edition. When Miniature Divided Circle was photographed by Studio St Ives in March 1971, just before it was sent to the foundry, the outer part of the plaster was still white and the hollows had been coloured dark blue to indicate where Hepworth requested ‘the special blue patination’ as had been used for Maquette for Divided Circle (1969), of which it is a smaller, later version.

The sculpture relates to the major bronze Two Forms (Divided Circle) (1969) while being an independent work in itself. Hepworth believed that size made an ‘absolute difference in treatment and colour’, maquettes were related to the hands, while large sculptures were to be walked around. The large-scale Divided Circle reverses the relationship of polished and patinated bronze seen in Maquette for Divided Circle, with the internal surfaces polished and the outer forms patinated green.