5 February 2008
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Two draped figures
signed and dated 'Moore 42.' (lower right)
watercolour, pen and India ink, wax crayon, charcoal and pencil on paper
15 x 22 in. (38.2 x 55.8 cm.)
Executed in 1942
Leicester Galleries, London.
Dr Hermann, London.
Anonymous sale, Christie's, New York, 11 May 1989, lot 183.
Eleanore and Daniel Saidenberg, New York, by whom acquired at the above sale; their sale, Sotheby's, New York, 10 November 1999, lot 17.
Waddington Galleries, London (no. B32569).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
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A. Garrould (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Drawings, 1940-49, vol. III, London, 2001, no. AG 42.178 & HMF 2068 (illustrated p. 165).
London, Thomas Gibson Fine Art Ltd., Paper, June - July 1985 (illustrated p. 43).
Exploring his obsession for the reclining human form, Henry Moore's Two Draped Figures places two reposed but palpably alert figures within an interior space, creating a perfectly self-contained image with a tense and brooding atmosphere.
During the war years, when materials were scarce and opportunities rare, Moore found it impossible to execute major sculptural projects. When bomb shrapnel damaged his Hampstead studio in 1940, he was compelled to concentrate on drawing for its own sake, and not just as a practice specifically for preliminary studies of sculpture. It was during this period that he executed his most exceptional drawings. Two Draped Figures dates from this time, shortly after Moore completed his celebrated series of works as an official War Artist showing the plight of people sheltering from air raids in the London Underground. The cocooning robes of the strange, monolithic beings in Two Draped Figures closely links them to the shrouded beings Moore witnessed taking refuge in the tunnels, and introduces drapery as an important method of stressing sculptural form and volume in his art.
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