(Much Hadham: Raymond Spenser Company Limited, 1985). Catalogue and sketchbook: 240 x 186 mm. (9 1/2 x 7 3/8"); Folding box: 411 x 323 mm. (16 1/8 x 12 3/4"). Catalogue: 24 pp.; Sketchbook: 84 pp.,  blank leaf. Catalogue by Ann Garrould. No. 57 OF 75 COPIES OF EDITION B, from a total edition of 450 sets.
Sketchbook bound in plain maroon buckram; catalogue in thick brown textured paper wrappers with white signature and titling on cover. Both housed in an oversized folding box bound in tan Richard de Bas handmade paper with artist's signature stamped in black on front cover, black titling on spine (sketchbook and box by Dermont-Duval, Paris). WITH AN ORIGINAL ETCHING WITH COLOR AQUATINT of "Reclining Nude, 1983" (depicted on p. 49 of sketchbook) hand-numbered and SIGNED BY MOORE in pencil, housed in cream-colored paper folder with tissue guard. Sketchbook with edition label on rear pastedown hand-numbered and SIGNED BY MOORE in pencil. Corners of folding box slightly bumped and with very slight wear, but its contents as new.
This beautifully printed and presented facsimile sketchbook offers an intimate view into the creative process of Henry Moore (1898-1986), one of the most significant British artists of the 20th century. Born in Lincolnshire to a coal-mining family, Moore (along with his seven siblings) was encouraged to pursue formal education by his father, a self-taught man with a passion for music and literature. Moore showed an early aptitude for art, and after learning about Michelangelo as a boy, he decided to become a sculptor. Following service in World War I (surviving a gas attack in France), he returned to England to study at the Leeds School of Art, and then at the Royal College of Art in London. According to DNB, "From 1928, the year of his first one-man show and his first public commission, until 1939, when his first sculpture to enter a national collection was accepted as a gift by the Tate Gallery, Moore's reputation as one of the most important avant-garde artists in England grew steadily and inexorably." Over the next four decades he received increasingly important honors and commissions--including many large-scale public works--that would cement his place in the pantheon of modern British artists. Moore is perhaps best known for his semi-abstract figural sculptures, but as our sketchbook attests, he also had a keen interest in drawing. Previously, two other facsimile editions of Moore's sketchbooks (1926 and 1928) had been published, but the present work differs from these in important ways: according to the introduction to the catalogue included here, "The present sketchbook is separated from the earlier ones by more than fifty years and during this time [Moore's] idea on the place of drawing in his creative work underwent a profound change. Over the last thirty years he worked out his ideas for sculpture in clay or plaster and continued to draw for drawing's sake. This drawing without thinking of sculpture, as the artist described it, is the main content of the present sketchbook." Begun in 1980 when the artist was 82 years old, this sketchbook includes many of the classic shapes that Moore favored in his sculptural work: reclining women, mother-and-child compositions, and bones, for example; but there are also sketches of Old Master drawings, a landscape, and interesting assemblages of people and objects. Different techniques are also used here, including sketches with combinations of watercolor, gouache, and grease pencil that create interesting textures and color combinations. As his niece (the compiler of the present catalogue) attests, so important was drawing to Moore's artistic life that in his advanced age he took to wearing mittens when his arthritis made it too painful to hold a pencil against his bare skin. The present work also includes a limited edition etching with color aquatint of one of the sketches in this notebook, signed by Moore. The etching, facsimile sketchbook, and catalogue are all neatly packaged and presented in an attractive folding box, and together they offer a thoughtful and deeply personal glimpse into the artist's mind and method. This work is scarce in its complete state, as issued; many sets were broken up so the etching could be framed. (ST17004)
Add to Cart Price: $3,600.00
PJP Catalog: 79.162