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Figure in a Shelter by Henry Moore

Figure in a Shelter was completed only a few years before the artist's death.


The sculpture illustrates both the model of internal and external form as well as the content of the basic motif of the concealed and simultaneously revealing human form. It consists of three partial sculptures mounted on a circular plinth. Two fragmented, opposing basins form the protective space, open at the sides (shelter); a third, smaller and apparently figurative portion can be interpreted as a standing female torso. The shelter forms demonstrate varying dimensions and contours. In the opening of the protective space stands the figure, whose favoured viewable side depicts few female motifs. The interpretation as a motherly female is a reasonable assumption, even if Moore refrained from embodying a child; only the profound movement of the large diagonal crease before the body indicates his repeated theme of mother and child.

Henry Moore, 1898 Castleford/Yorkshire - 1986 Much Hadham/Hertfordshire 

Initially a teacher, Henry Moore was wounded in military service in 1918. From 1919 to 1924 he studied at the Leeds School of Art and at the Royal College of Art in London, where he taught sculpture until 1932. He headed the Sculpture Departement founded by himself at the Chelsea School of Art in London until 1939. His studies at the British Museum focused on archaic art and Mayan art, while trips to Italy and France introduced him to the work of Masaccio, Michelangelo and Cézanne. The early wood and stone sculptures that address Moore's central theme of the human figure demonstrate these influences. He later became an admirer of Picasso and Brancusi, and in the 1930s of Surrealism and Ben Nicholson. During the Second World War an extensive body of graphic work emerged, dominated thereafter by bronze sculptures. In the 1950s these sculptures took on monumental dimensions and were often the result of commissions. With his diverse body of work, Moore is one of the 20th century's most important sculptors.

1983, bronze, 183cm x 213.5cm x 244cm
Location: Peter-Kaiser-Platz square
Property of the Liechtenstein National Art Collection (donation from the Lampadia Foundation, Vaduz, in 1990)

Further information about Henry Moore

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