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Sketches of Auden by Henry Moore

Sketches of Auden by Henry Moore

Petersburg Press



Edition Size: 25

Image Size: 11 x 8.25 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. 80. David Mitchinson Henry Moore Prints and Portfolios. Patrick Cramer, Geneva 2010 no. 265, illustrated p. 204


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 8/25 lower right in pencil.

This print features a pair of sketches of Auden that Moore executed from memory the day after Auden passed away. Two drawings exaggerate Auden’s characteristic furrowed forehead. At the lower left Moore wrote on the plate: “Wystan Auden Sep 30th/73”

Moore spoke on the writer’s passing: “When I heard of Auden’s death I was finishing one of the illustrations for his book – I had been with him in Vienna only the week before and his presence came back vividly. The monumental ruggedness of his face, its deep furrows like plough marks crossing a field. I tried to put this on paper, to fix his memory for myself.”

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

Sketches of Auden 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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