Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Henry Moore - bronze sculptures

Recommended Posts

Just down the road from where I live we had an exhibition of Henry Moore's bronzes set in the grounds of Hatfield House as part of the celebrations of 400 years of the Cecil family living at the house.
First a bit of history about the house. The Royal Palace was first built in 1497. Many years later, James 1st decided he no longer liked the palace and did a swap with the Cecil family for a property they had somewhere else in Hertfordshire. The Cecil family moved in in 1607 and have lived there ever since. Hatfield house was a favorite place of Elizabeth 1st and it was here that she learnt she would become Queen of England in 1558 after the death of Queen Mary.

If you are ever in the UK, Hatfield House is a 40 minute train journey out of London and is worth a visit as it is one of our great stately homes.

The sculptures are set in the grounds of the house and it was a beautiful sunny day when I was there. I particularly choose to go on a weekday so it was not crowded and I would have some time to take photos.
I don't know very much about the work of Henry Moore but I think he was a bit before his time with his sculpture as it would not look out of place today. Most of these pieces were made in the 50's, 60's and 70's.

Some photos. This first one is made from fibreglass and is about 9 meters long. Its standing on the lawn in front of the original Royal Palace.

Large Reclining Figure, 1984


Reclining Figure : Arched Leg, 1969


Hill Arches, 1973


Locking Piece, 1963


King and Queen, 1952


Sculpure is not really one of my "things" but I think it is a good idea to look at all types of work to get inspiration. As someone who has no ability to draw a thing and most of what I have made has evovled on the anvil with an image in my minds eye, I can see that in a months time or whenever I shall be making something and wondering where the idea or shape has come from and it will most likely be from some of Moore's work.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can relate in that i don't quite understand the abstract art,often not sure what to make of it,yet often,those many shapes and curves do stick with you,the old pea-brain files them for later use...
The whole,though,the setting,and the story behind the house,and those beautiful grounds,it's fantastic,Mick,thanks!
Especially that building in the first photo,that's all red brick,and red clay roof tile,it is incredibly appealing for some reason.Wish but that i knew something about architecture,as well as abstract art!But those stepped butresses look so cool!
Can't help but wonder if the place is chock full of neatest ironwork,too! :) (Window and door hardware,fireplace stuff,or even the structural stuff,like those braces that Beth posted...).
Wonderful place!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

great photos mick - what a treat to mooch around there for a bit- i really like the henry moores, esspecially the hill arches, , beautiful shapes and edges - so tactile - love the 'cut off' kind of plane on the front too, its all very touchable. very gorgeous patina too.!! :) particularly his more figurative or obvioously figurative pieces appeal to me to, like his heavy women like this


also his drawings are wonderful and his etchings - his lines are beautiful;


its interesting what you say about your ideas coming at the anvil, and not through drawing - i am the opposite i can draw and make thigs 3d in certain materials fairly easily (wether they are any good, of course is quite another conversation!!but in terms of expression) but Not So for me in steel - i am not at the stage with my bsmithing that the priocess is informing my ideas just by its nature and how fluid it is - i would Love that to be the case. from what ive seen of your work on here you are in an entirely different place with the material than i am. i think all this stuff is very interesting, different approaches from endlessly varying brains eyes imaginations and moto skills.
also - absolutely right about drawing inspiration from everywhere - all places possible and accessible (or otherwise) to you, i say - it all comes out of the creators arm when you swing your hammer whatever youre concious of that partiucular day. magic :) its all FOOD for the imagination.

jake your enjoyment of the red clay - there is a lot of that round here and it is a real beaut in the sun (or not actually) - its all there to be looked at and appreciated - such a waste not to!! bet there is a tonne of loverly ironwork in there too... and all manner of other fabulous works.....

as point of interest to sculpture fans - anpother famous brit sculptor contemporary of moore - lynn chadwick - fantastic work, some of which i was lucky enough to see in glos cathedral near me not too long ago in a big castings exhibition, much more angular looking and darker in spirit than moore, but wonderful and worth looking at if you like this kind of stuff - an example....


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jake, there is a lot of old ironwork typical of a house of this stature. The main entrance to the house and grounds is about 25ft wide consisting of two gates and an overthrow, the top of which is about 16 - 18 ft high.
I don't have any photos of the ironwork and the house is now closed to the public until March of next year. I shall have a wander around next year and get some. Not only is there all types of ironwork, but statues and bits of art everywhere.

Someone on the estate obviously has a quirky sense of humour as I found this about 10ft up a tree,


Something that will appeal to what we do with metal was this very elaborate sundial that is just so crisp and clean in its design and craftmenship, a work of art.





Beth, thats interesting that you mention Lyn Chadwick as I got talking to a couple there and they mentioned her work. From your photo I can see the similarity.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

mick and others i must take opportunity to show you the lynn chadwicks at glos - the surroundings were just too amazing for my words, but hopefuly you will get an idea - his work (yes he is he - ithought for years he was a her cos of the girls name :) ) his work looked unbelieiiveabley foreboding menacing troubling and BLACK and from a distance approaching them they were very powerful sculptures... here are some shots..






also the anthony gormley had a lasting impression on me - you walked down into the small stone room and this cast iron man was alive - i tell you he was breathing was most disconcerting and very appealing! here he is, just whole we are on a sculpture theme - its all metal though isnt it? his choice of materials is always yummy - i think he is much critisised for continuing to use his own body as ref for his work, but i just cannot imagine why thats a problem, the work is stunning .....



Link to comment
Share on other sites

also meant to comment on the sundial - how beautiful to watch the cloud movement and direction of wind, any time by the sun measuring devise its a totally pleasurable distraction isnt it? i like the little face hidden too - sudely castle puts on sculpture shows near me quite often and i think its a great way to get public inside our heritage buildings and grounds etc- and always a pleasure to stumble across a hidden piece of work - these locations are often the perfect backdrop for this kind of work, here is a piece i liked at sudeley in the summer by artist called laura bacon - may have posted this photo already - so sorry about that - and this one is not even metal... but i like how its Growing on the stonework and has become part of the landscape - dont know how long it will reamin up.... she has done many sculptures like this, and i very much like her style/scale


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...