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Lullaby Sketches by Henry Moore

Lullaby Sketches by Henry Moore

Petersburg Press



Edition Size: 25

Image Size: 11.63 x 11 inches

Sheet Size: 25.25 x 20.5 inches

Reference: Auden Poems/Moore Lithographs, with essay by John Russell, British Museum Publications, London 1974, no. 85. David Mitchinson Henry Moore Prints and Portfolios. Patrick Cramer, Geneva 2010 no. 270, illustrated p. 206


Condition: Pristine

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One of a series of 18 lithographs drawn by the artist for the Auden Poems/Moore Lithographs 1974 book and portfolio. This work is from an edition of 25 printed on vellum aside from the portfolio (edition of 75) and the book. Signed by the artist and numbered 1/25 lower left in pencil.

This print features small sketches of heads resting on forearms. Moore experimented with different angles, appearing to practice for the composition for Lullaby: Sleeping Head, which depicts a shadowy figure supporting the head of a sleeping woman. Lullaby: Sketches is a rare window into Moore’s process of composing an image. Delicate, single-line arms and hair reveal the sculptor’s equal talent as a draftsman.

The imagery for Lullaby Sketches was inspired by Auden’s poem Lullaby. Lullaby was the first poem Moore read for this project, which begins:

“Lay your sleeping head, my love / Human on my faithless arm; / Time and fevers burn away Individual beauty from / Thoughtful children, and the grave / Proves the child ephemeral: / But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie, / Mortal, guilty, but to me / The entirely beautiful.”

The Auden/Moore limited edition book and portfolio were exhibited on publication at the British Museum, London, with an accompanying catalogue.

Lullaby Sketches is one of a group of lithographs presented with the work of poet W.H. Auden (1907-1973). Not conceived as illustrations, Moore wanted his landscape and figure works to stand alone, complementing or contrasting with Auden’s poetry.  He and Auden were both from Yorkshire, and the dark landscapes that Moore produced for the project evoke the industrial nature and rugged moors of the area.


The Artist

Henry Moore

In the twentieth century, one of the most important and celebrated British artists was Henry Moore. Renowned for his semi-abstract monumental bronzes, these sculptures can be seen all around the world. Usually a reclining figure and more often than not suggested as feminine, his work evokes analogies between the body and the landscape. The materials Moore used for his sculptures were mainly bronze or marble.

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