Three Standing Figures 1947

Last updated

Three Standing Figures 1947
Henry Moore-Three standing figures-Battersea Park-2.jpg
Artist Henry Moore
Location London, United Kingdom

Three Standing Figures 1947 (LH 268) is a large stone sculpture by Henry Moore. It was made in 1947–48, and exhibited at London County Council's first Open-Air Sculpture Exhibition at Battersea Park in 1948. Donated to the council, it has been exhibited at the park since 1950. It became a Grade II listed building in 1988.



The 7 feet (2.1 m) high stone statue comprises three standing women, draped in flowing garments: two standing closer together, observed by the third. Each has rudimentary facial features, such as eye holes.

Moore's draped figures developed from a series of drawings inspired by his observations of people in underground bomb shelters during the Second World War. Somewhat reminiscent of the Three Graces, it may also draw from a drawing of the Three Fates made by Moore in 1948.[ citation needed ] In 1968, Moore commented that "it is as though the three women are standing there, expecting something to happen from the sky" Sylvester published an essay in The Burlington Magazine in 1948 with an unusual interpretation, as a family group: the protective mother, the stern father, and the child on the far right.


Moore began with a terracotta model made c.1945; its present location is unknown, but there are two known plaster copies, one at the Henry Moore Foundation and one on long-term loan to the Tate Gallery.[ citation needed ] Moore also cast a bronze edition of four (plus one artist's copy) between 1948 and 1949; an additional artist's cast was made in 1985. Examples of these sculptures are held in the Smith College Museum of Art in Massachusetts and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

The work in Battersea Park was carved between August 1947 and May 1948 from Darley Dale sandstone, one of the last statues that Moore made from English stone. It was originally conceived to fulfil a commission from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but it was instead exhibited at London County Council's first Open-Air Sculpture Exhibition at Battersea Park in 1948. (MOMA took instead a cast of Moore's first large bronze, Family Group from The Barclay School in Stevenage, itself originally intended for Walter Gropius's Impington Village College.)

Moore was a member of the selection committee for the Open-Air Exhibition, and his sculpture was used on the publicity poster.[ citation needed ] It was sited in a prominent position, at the top of a slight rise in ground, with trees behind.

Moore's reputation grew dramatically from 1948, when he was a selected as Britain's greatest living artist for the 24th Venice Biennale and won the sculpture prize.[ citation needed ]

The stone sculpture was lent for the Open-Air Exhibition in 1948, and then bought by the Contemporary Art Society and donated to London County Council. It has been permanently sited in Battersea Park in Battersea, London, in 1950, but has been moved from its original site.[ citation needed ]

The sculpture featured in the 1991 Mr. Bean episode Mr. Bean Goes to Town; Bean tries to take a selfie with a polaroid camera, with the sculpture in the background. Being unsuccessful, he asks a passerby to take his photo, but the man runs off with Bean’s camera.

Related Research Articles

Barbara Hepworth English artist and sculptor (1903–1975)

Dame Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth was an English artist and sculptor. Her work exemplifies Modernism and in particular modern sculpture. Along with artists such as Ben Nicholson and Naum Gabo, Hepworth was a leading figure in the colony of artists who resided in St Ives during the Second World War.

Henry Moore English artist known for sculpture (1898–1986)

Henry Spencer Moore was an English artist. He is best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art. As well as sculpture, Moore produced many drawings, including a series depicting Londoners sheltering from the Blitz during the Second World War, along with other graphic works on paper.

Bernard Meadows British sculptor

Bernard Meadows was a British modernist sculptor. Meadows was Henry Moore's first assistant; then part of the Geometry of Fear school, a loose-knit group of British sculptors whose prominence was established at the 1952 Venice Biennale; a Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art for 20 years; and returned to assist Moore again in his last years.

Lynn Russell Chadwick, was an English sculptor and artist. Much of his work is semi-abstract sculpture in bronze or steel. His work is in the collections of MoMA in New York, the Tate in London and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Andrew Sabin

Andrew Sabin is a British sculptor. He studied at Chelsea College of Art (1979-1983) where he worked as a senior lecturer until 2006.

<i>Draped Seated Woman 1957–58</i>

Draped Seated Woman 1957–58 is a bronze sculpture by the British artist Henry Moore, cast in an edition of seven in the 1950s. The sculpture depicts a female figure resting in a seated position, with her legs folded back to her right, her left hand supporting her weight, and her right hand on her right leg. The drapery emphasises the female figure, but the facial features are abstracted and barely picked out.

<i>Draped Reclining Woman 1957–58</i>

Draped Reclining Woman 1957–58 is a bronze sculpture by British artist Henry Moore, with a series of six castings made by Hermann Noack in Berlin.

<i>Knife Edge Two Piece 1962–65</i> Bronze sculpture by Henry Moore

Knife Edge Two Piece 1962–65 is an abstract bronze sculpture by Henry Moore. It is one of Moore's earliest sculptures in two pieces, a mode that he started to adopt in 1959. Its form was inspired by the shape of a bone fragment. Moore created the sculpture from an edition of 10 working models in 1962; these working models are now in public collections. Moore created four full-size casts between 1962-1965, with one retained by him. The three casts are on public display on College Green in Westminster, London; Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver; and the garden at Kykuit, the house of the Rockefeller family in Tarrytown, New York. Moore's own cast is on display at his former studio and estate, 'Hoglands' in Perry Green, Hertfordshire in southern England. A similar work, Mirror Knife Edge 1977, is displayed at the entrance to I. M. Pei's east wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The Westminster cast was donated by Moore through the Contemporary Art Society to what he believed was the City of London, but its actual ownership was undetermined for many years. The Westminster cast subsequently fell into disrepair, and was restored in 2013 after it became part of the British Parliamentary Art Collection; it was granted a Grade II* listing in January 2016.

<i>King and Queen</i> (sculpture)

King and Queen is a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore, designed in 1952. It depicts two figures, one male and one female, seated beside each other on a bench, both facing slightly to the left. It is Moore's only sculpture depicting a single pair of adult figures. Moore's records suggest it was originally known as Two Seated Figures.

<i>Spindle Piece</i>

Spindle Piece is a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore. Unusually, the sculpture was made in four sizes: a plaster maquette cast in bronze as Maquette for Spindle Piece in 1968, a larger plaster working model which was also cast in bronze as Spindle Piece in 1968, a larger series of bronze sculptures Large Spindle Piece cast in 1974, and the largest model, known as The Spindle, carved in travertine in 1981.

<i>Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae</i> Sculpture by Henry Moore

Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae, also known as Dallas Piece or Vertebrae, is an abstract bronze sculpture by Henry Moore. It was cast in 1978–79, specifically for a site outside I.M. Pei's Dallas City Hall, and is the largest version of a sculpture that Moore created in 1968.

Three-Way Piece No.1: Points is a bronze abstract sculpture by Henry Moore. Three full-size sculptures were cast in 1967, one installed on the Columbia University campus in Upper Manhattan, New York City, and the others at Des Moines Art Center, and Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.

<i>Sheep Piece</i> 1971–72

Sheep Piece is a sculpture by Henry Moore made in three sizes from 1969-1972, starting in 1969 with a 14 centimetres (5.5 in) maquette modelled in plaster and then cast in bronze, enlarged in 1971 to a 142 centimetres (56 in) working model in plaster and then cast in bronze, and finally a full size bronze on a monumental scale, 570 centimetres (220 in) high, cast in 1971-72. The four full-size casts are at the Henry Moore Foundation in Perry Green, Hertfordshire, in Zürich, in Kansas City, and at the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens in Purchase, New York.

<i>Recumbent Figure 1938</i> Sculpture by Henry Moore

Recumbent Figure 1938 (LH191) is an early sculpture by Henry Moore. It was commissioned by the architect Serge Chermayeff for his modernist villa at Bentley Wood, near Halland, Sussex. At the time it was made, it was Moore's largest stone sculpture. It was donated to the Tate Gallery in 1939, making it the first example of Moore's work in a public collection.

<i>Family Group</i> (Moore)

Family Group is a sculpture by Henry Moore. It was his first large-scale bronze sculpture, and his first large bronze with multiple castings. Made for Barclay School in Stevenage, it evolved from drawings in the 1930s, through a series of models to bronze castings in 1950–51. It also one of the last important sculptures that Moore developed from preliminary drawings: in future, he worked mainly from found objects, maquettes and models.

<i>UNESCO Reclining Figure 1957–58</i>

UNESCO Reclining Figure 1957–58 is a sculpture by Henry Moore. It was made in a series of scales, from a small plaster maquette, through a half-size working model made in plaster and cast in bronze, to a full-size version carved in Roman travertine marble in 1957–1958. The final work was installed in 1958 at the World Heritage Centre, the headquarters of UNESCO at the Place de Fontenoy in Paris. This was Moore's last major public commission in which he created a new work for a specific site; he afterwards generally worked from an existing sketch or model.

<i>Reclining Figure (Lincoln Center)</i> Sculpture by Henry Moore (LH 519, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City)

Reclining Figure 1963–5 is a statue by Henry Moore. The original two-part bronze statue of a human figure was commissioned for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, where it has been displayed outdoors since 1965 in a pool of water to the north of the new Metropolitan Opera House. Other copies in plaster or bronze exist, and are displayed in other cities.

Patricia Frances Elizabeth Strauss, Lady Strauss was a British Labour politician, feminist and patron of the arts.

<i>Locking Piece</i>

Locking Piece is a sculpture by Henry Moore. It comprises two interlocking forms holding a third element between them, on a bronze base. It is usually mounted on a separate plinth. The sculpture was created in 1962–1964, and bronze casts were made in 1964–1967.


Coordinates: 51°28′41″N0°09′25″W / 51.47813°N 0.15691°W / 51.47813; -0.15691