19,7 x 11 x 13,6 cm (7 3/4 x 4 1/4 x 5 3/8 in.)
signed and numbered edition of 9
“Mother and Child Round Form” is one of numerous examples of Henry Moore's preoccupation with the theme of the human figure, especially the resting figure. In 1951, he wrote: “In my opinion, the long and thorough study of the human figure is the necessary foundation for the sculptor. The human figure is extremely varied and subtle, it is difficult to bring it into the grip of form and construction – therefore, it is the most demanding form for learning and understanding”. His starting point, however, was not the classical-naturalist tradition, but instead an abstracting concept of figures, for which examples can be found in pre-classical and non-European works of art. The reclining figures that inspired Moore were Etruscan sarcophagus covers and Central American “Chac Mo'ol” figures, whose forms he abstracted, dissolved and recombined. Natural and organic forms, such as stones, bones or other found objects, often influenced the individual shapes of the newly composed figures. Yet, the mother-child figures have a clear occidental tradition. Their roots are found in the hieratic, medieval depictions of the Madonna, which are in turn based on Byzantine models, painted and sculpted icons. Here, Moore takes up one of the oldest motifs of the Madonna with Child, namely the “Madonna lactans” or “Glycotrophousa”, i.e. the Virgin Mary nursing the Christ Child.