Art@Site Henry Moore Seated Woman

Henry Moore


Seated Woman

Marunouchi naka
Henry Moore’s Seated Woman 1957 is a larger than life-size plaster sculpture of a female figure seated on a wooden bench. This work was later used to cast the sculpture in bronze in an edition of six plus one artist’s copy.
The figure, whose bodily proportions are not anatomically correct, is positioned so that her broad torso sits upright and twists slightly to the right, while her head faces forwards and her legs are angled to the left.
Moore has arranged the body on a gentle diagonal, which moves from the feet upwards and across the torso to the woman’s right shoulder. Two domed protrusions denote the woman’s breasts, below which the figure’s stomach, which is marked with a large depressed navel, bulges towards the right. From the rear a slightly concave groove can be seen running down the centre of the figure’s broad back, made more prominent by the lighter strip of plaster that runs its length.
Although willfully distorted, this large bronze form remains instantly identifiable as a seated woman. The figure's lower half has been reduced to a bulbous mass that rests atop a minimally articulated stool. The top half is more contorted, yet plainly recognizable as a female torso. The woman's head turns distractedly to one side and, though lacking in anatomical specificity, achieves a surprising degree of expression.
The creation of this sculpture reveals the lengthy gestation period that sometimes accompanied Henry Moore's work. In the late 1950s, he made a maquette or small plaster model of this seated figure. Once he had achieved the desired shape, one of Moore's studio assistants then carved a plaster mold of the maquette to be sent to a foundry for casting in bronze. But Moore, unsatisfied with the large mold, chose not to have it cast and continued to refine the plaster. It remained in his studio for many years and was finally cast in 1975--more than two decades after the original design was conceived.