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    Sale 12223

    Modern British & Irish Art Evening Sale

    20 June 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 18

    Henry Moore, O.M, C.H. (1898-1986)

    Draped Standing Figures in Red

    Price Realised  


    Henry Moore, O.M, C.H. (1898-1986)
    Draped Standing Figures in Red
    signed and dated 'Moore/44.' (lower right)
    pencil, ink, wax crayon and watercolour
    15 ¾ x 12 ¼ in. (40 x 31 cm.)

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    Executed in 1944, during the war time period in which Moore created very few pieces of sculpture, this highly finished drawing is developed from the theme of the suffering human figure which Moore had featured extensively in his work in the Shelter drawings throughout the early 1940s. Moore first saw people sheltering in Belsize Park tube station in September 1940 while on a visit to the capital with his wife, Irina. He was finding it increasingly difficult to source materials for sculpture, and his teaching post at the Chelsea School of Art had been suspended during its closure. Making rapid observations of the people he saw, and drawing sketches on the way home, provided him with a shorthand to record these scenes back at his studio in Perry Green, following his visits to the underground. He produced larger scale drawings in his new role as War Artist, arranged by his friend Kenneth Clark. The resulting works were displayed at the National Gallery while the permanent collection was in safe storage in Wales.

    The present work moves on from the Shelter drawings series to a further exploration of the drapery first seen in the blankets and shrouds depicted in these works. Moore usually deployed subdued tones, only sometimes using stronger colours, such as the pink tones seen in People wrapped in Blankets (1940-41; British Museum). Moore remarked of the Londoners he found temporarily underground, 'I was fascinated by the sight ... so many Henry Moores lying on the platform’. Their prone bodies wrapped in blankets in the darkness recalled images of shrouds and catacombs, with a correspondingly dark and foreboding atmosphere pervading the colour palette.

    In this drawing, in contrast, the four upright standing figures are poised for action, gazing out at the onlooker while clothed in strong washes of pink with yellow highlights to their drapery. An optimistic sense of rebirth and vitality dominates the composition and these upright figures have a sense of majesty and resilience. The central figure clutches at the drapery at her right hip, as she gazes out at the viewer with a penetrating stare. This stance is perhaps inspired by a renewed sense of national pride and endurance which was stimulating the nation into the final stages of the war effort by 1944. This figure, and the one beside her, are the most human in form, while the two standing behind appear to be from a more mythical state.

    The drawing is from a group of works which played a part in the conception of the large sculpture, carved in Darleydale stone, Three Standing Figures, from 1947-48 (Battersea Park, London). Moore commented of this piece, 'They are the expression in sculpture of the group feeling that I was concerned with in the shelter drawings, and although the problem of relating separate sculptural units was not new to me, my previous experience of the problem had involved more abstract forms; the bringing together of these three figures involved the creation of a unified human mood. The pervading theme of the shelter drawings was the group sense of communion in the three figures... I wanted to overlay it with the sense of release, and create figures conscious of being in the open air, they have a lifted gaze, for scanning distance' (see Henry Moore Foundation Archive, the artist quoted in Sculpture in the Open Air: A Talk by Henry Moore on his Sculpture and its Placing in Open-Air Sites, edited by Robert Melville and recorded by the British Council, 1955).

    The present work was one of thirty two drawings exhibited alongside his sculpture at the first Venice Biennale after the Second World War in 1948, an exhibition which was received with wide critical acclaim and established Moore on the international art scene after he won the International Sculpture Prize.

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    with Redfern Gallery, London, where purchased by Lady Cochrane, and by descent to the previous owner.
    Anonymous sale; Bonhams, London, 30 November 2004, lot 45.
    with Richard Green, London.

    Pre-Lot Text



    H. Read (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture: 1921-48 (Sculpture and Drawings), Vol. 1, London, 1949, pl. 240b.
    D. Sylvester (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture: 1921-48 (Sculpture and Drawings), Vol. 1, London, 1957, p. 256.
    R. Melville, Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, London, 1970, pl. 327.
    S. Compton, exhibition catalogue, Henry Moore, London, Royal Academy, 1988, pp. 154, 252, no. 163, illustrated.
    A. Garrould (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Drawings 1940-49, Vol. 3, Much Hadham, 2001, p. 228, no. AG 44.67, HMF 2253, illustrated.


    Venice, British Council, XXIV Biennale, 1948, no. 63: this exhibition travelled to Milan, Galeria d'Arte Moderna, Milan.
    Paris, British Council, Musée d'Art Moderne, Henry Moore, 1949, no. 84.
    Brussels, British Council, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Exposition Henry Moore: Sculptures, Dessins, October 1949, no. 84.
    Amsterdam, British Council, Stedelijk Museum, Henry Moore, January - February 1950, no. 84.
    Hamburg, British Council, Kunsthalle, Henry Moore: Ausstellung von Skulpturen und Zeichnungen, 1950, no. 84: this exhibition travelled to Dusseldorf, Kunstsammlung.
    Berne, Kunsthalle, Henry Moore, 1950, no. 84.
    London, Tate Gallery, Sculpture and Drawings by Henry Moore, May - July 1951, no. 152.
    Berlin, Schloss Charlottenberg, Modern Englische Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, November - December 1951, no. 51: this exhibition travelled to Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina; and Linz, Neue Galerie der Stadt.
    Zagreb, British Council, Tomislav Pavilion, Henry Moore: Izlozba Skulpture i Crteza, March - May 1955, no. 68: this exhibition travelled to Belgrade, Kalemegdan Pavilion; Ljubljana, Moderna Galerija; and Skopje, Daud Pash Hamaki, catalogue not traced.
    London, Royal Academy, Henry Moore, September - December 1988, no. 163.