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About This Artwork
Working Model for UNESCO Reclining Figure, 1957
Bronze, cast in 1957, from an edition of five plus one
139.7 x 238.8 x 121.9 cm (55 x 94 x 48 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold H. Maremont, 1960.9
In the 1950s, Henry Moore executed a number of important public commissions, including Reclining Figure for the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in Paris. The Art Institute’s sculpture is one of six smaller bronze versions of the unique, over-16-foot-long marble figure that Moore installed at UNESCO in 1958. The artist looked to many cultures—particularly to enduring examples of art from ancient Greece and the Yucatán region of Mexico—to give his figural works their monumental forms and profound resonance with the art of the past. This reclining figure connects not only to history but also to the earth—its swelling masses and rounded voids suggest the female form as well as a landscape of valleys, mountains, and caves.
— Permanent collection label
Columbus, Ohio, Columbus Museum of Art, “Henry Moore: The Reclining Figures,” 1 October 198431 December 1985 (traveled to University of Texas Art Gallery, Austin; Utah Museum of Art, Salt Lake City; Portland Art Museum, Oregon: San Francisco Museum of Art, California
Bowness, vol.3, p. 24, no 415
J. Russell, Henry Moore, London, 1968, p. 169
Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Maremont, Chicago, by 1959, given by them to the Art Institute, 1960.