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Split Stone by Henry Moore

Split Stone by Henry Moore

Petersburg Press



Edition Size: 25

Image Size: 11.88 x 5.63 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. 74 illustrated. David Mitchinson Henry Moore Prints and Portfolios. Patrick Cramer, Geneva 2010 no. 259, illustrated p. 202


Condition: Pristine

Details — Click to read

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 lower right in pencil; numbered 7/25 lower left in pencil.

Printed in inky black, Split Stone features a long, narrow composition bisected by rough vertical lines. Moore’s characteristic crosshatching builds a dark background, with lines that seem to radiate from the center of the image field. Moore says that the thin white line appearing in several prints from the Auden series represents the ‘fine line between life and death.’

This print displays Moore’s fascination with light and dark – what he called a “…bias towards the blackness and mysterious depths.” Moore was inspired by the prints of Rembrandt and the drawings of Seurat, and even drew on his memories of viewing the Altamira cave paintings, recalling how some of the images used the shadow of candlelight on the rough surface of the rock to model light. Shortly before starting work on this series of lithographs, Moore had fallen ill, leaving him aware of his own mortality. His mood pervaded these prints with a sense of danger and foreboding.

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

Split Stone 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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