Reclining Figures Unsigned, inscribed "Lithograph Reclining Lead figures" u.c., titled in the online Henry Moore Catalogue Raisonné: 1940-1949, dated "1948/50" in a letter from the artist to the consignor. Pencil, wax crayon, and watercolor wash on paper mounted to pressed paperboard, 11 5/8 x 9 1/2 in. (29.5 x 24 cm), framed. Condition: Toning, mat burn, small nicks to left edge, creases l.r., scattered stains and fox marks.
Provenance: Purchased from the artist in 1953; private collection, Massachusetts.
Literature: Robert Melville, Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969 (London: Thames and Hudson, 1970); John Hedgecoe, A Monumental Vision: The Sculpture of Henry Moore (London: Collins and Brown, 1998); Ann Garrould, editor, Henry Moore: Complete Drawings, 1940-49, volume 3 (London and Much Hadham: The Henry Moore Foundation with Lund Humphries, 2001).
N.B. In 1973, the owner of this work wrote the following to Henry Moore: "My husband and I have always considered this painting our most precious possession and have prided ouselves on having a genuine Henry Moore, probably the only one of its kind in Lebanon or the Middle East. For some time now, we have been having an argument with our friends about it, and after much hesitation, I thought of writing directly to you for your verdict. Do the words 'Lithograph, reclining head figures' at the top mean that it is a lithograph?" Moore responded, confirming that the work is indeed a drawing, and not a lithograph. He wrote, "At the time I did the drawing I thought I could do a lithograph at some time based on this drawing. In fact, I did make a lithograph using the lower part of your drawing in 1950." This correspondence between the consignor and the artist accompanies the lot.
This work is listed in the online Henry Moore Catalogue Raisonné: 1940-1949 as catalogue number HMF 2427 (see http://catalogue.henry-moore.org:8080/objects/9980/reclining-figures). Estimate $50,000-70,000
Framed dimensions: 21 1/4 x 18 1/2 in.
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