Henry Moore, one of the most outstanding figures of European sculpture of the 20th century, was a British sculptor born on July 30, 1898, and died on August 31, 1986. When he was eleven years old, he had references about the painter and sculptor from the Renaissance, Michelangelo and from then on he was attracted to sculpture. One of his teachers at the school where Moore studied noticed his talent and interest in sculpture and got him a scholarship to study at Castleford Secondary School; There, his art teacher increased the young Moore’s artistic knowledge and encouraged him to pursue an art career.

Definitely convinced that he wanted to be an artist, Moore applied for a scholarship to study at the Leeds School of Arts, a decision that didn’t have the approval of his parents. In 1921 he won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London, where he also taught. During this period Moore studied the ethnographic collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum.

1. Henry Moore. Reclining Woman.
Moore’s sculpture evolved from figuration to abstraction. His first works, within academic learning, were carried out under the influences of the Renaissance, initially by Michelangelo, and the romantic style of the Victorian era; later he became interested in the primitive shapes of archaic sculptures and in modernism, in this case in the sculptural work of Constantin Brancusi and Jacob Epstein, who induced him to the procedure of direct carving with which the lines produced by the tools ended up being a another element of sculpture, a technique that wasn’t common at that time, which is why Moore was questioned, specifically by his teachers.
2. Henry Moore. Reclining Figure.
During a trip to Paris, Moore visited the Louvre Museum, where he observed for the first time, in plaster, the replica of a Chac Mool, a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican sculpture belonging to the Toltec-Maya culture, whose figure represents a reclining man with his head erect, his legs bent, his face turned either to the right or to the left, and on his head he wears a type of cap that extends to his ears, lengthening them. This model of reclining sculpture strongly influenced Moore’s style, to the point of becoming one of the main themes of his sculptural production, which originates his famous reclining sculptures, the most representative of his sculptural production, along with other themes such as mother and son, family groups and the abstractions of human figures, being mostly the representation or suggestion of the female body.
Although Moore initially worked using the direct carving technique, in the late 1940s he began to make his sculptures by modeling in clay or plaster, and then the mold, before making the work in bronze through the technique of casting or lost wax casting, technology developed in ancient times by the Sumerians, Indians, Chinese, Mesoamericans and Incas.
It is worth noting that for Moore drawing was of the utmost importance, which is why he made several sketches and preliminary drawings for each sculpture; many of which are still preserved and bear witness to how his sculptural style evolved.
3.Henry Moore. Oval with Points.
In his first sculptures, Moore worked the volume with its conventional voids, the result of the arched extremities, which separate and return to the body; In this way, it is inferred, he relates the human body to rocky shapes and the landscape, suggesting mountains with knees and chests. Subsequently, his figures become more abstract, an organic, biomorphic abstraction, that is, shapes inspired by biological nature, to which Moore made holes that cross the body.
Through this type of figures, the sculptor explored open, undulating, concave, and convex shapes. In this way, in his sculptures, solid elements contrast with emptiness, with space, not only around it, but also through it since Moore left voids in some areas of his works. Thus, the space ceases to be a container and enveloping of the sculpture to flow and integrate with it, penetrate it, transforming the space, the void, into one more aesthetic element of the sculptural composition.
Gabriela Otero. Plena

Written by José Gregorio Noroño,

 Arte Original.

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