About This Artwork

Henry Spencer Moore
English, 1898-1986

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

© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

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

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

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

Publication History

Bowness, vol.3, p. 24, no 415

J. Russell, Henry Moore, London, 1968, p. 169

Ownership History

Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Maremont, Chicago, by 1959, given by them to the Art Institute, 1960.

Interpretive Resources

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