Henry Moore and the Venus figurines....
Henry Moore and the Venus figurines....

Henry Moore and the Venus figurines. Art and human identity

€ 38,00 

Francesca R. Borruso

Traduzione a cura di Marcella Matrone

2023, 216 pp., ill. b/n

Copertina con bandella brossura filo refe 16,8 x 24 cm

ISBN: 9788899847524

e-ISBN: 9788899847531

DOI 10.57627/9788899847531

   Supported by Henry Moore Foundation

Acquista su Torrossa: versione digitale

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Henry Moore’s profound interest in the art of prehistory touched on many different aspects, from his early studies on and drawings of small sculptures and bas-reliefs of female creatures known as Palaeolithic Venuses (1926), to ‘Primitive Art’ (1941), written a few months after the bombing of London, and finally to Three Standing Figures (1948), Seated Woman (1958) and Three Quarter Figure (1961). The thread of passionate and continuous coherence that intertwines Moore’s interest in primitive art with his own art, from drawings to grandiose sculptures, unfolded over his entire life, permeating his in-depth research into human identity. Following Moore’s research, we reach back into the first archaeological discoveries in the second half of the 19th century, and the hostility and radical opposition the existence of human beings living thousands of years apart, and their art, aroused in the academic and religious environments. At the time of Moore’s first drawings, these positions were still dominant – only recently, have we started to consider an age so far back in time as Deep History, our own Deep History –, which contrasted with what Moore had always sensed. For instance, drawing from his own identity as an artist and a human being, Moore never perceived any discontinuation with first human beings’ existence and art. To him, ‘Art is a universal continuous activity with no separation between past and present’.

Edizioni Espera

Foreword: M. Mussi, Speaking of Henry Moore and the Venus figurines;


I. The Venus figurines: between hate, love and misunderstanding; 1.1 This one that I gaze at again and again, is a beautiful woman; 1.2 They appeared repellent and obscene; 1.3 Henry Moore’s first few visits to the British Museum; 1.4 Human realism and a full richness of form; 1.5 Moore’s research on hollow spaces; 1.6 Artists’ intuitions, scholars’ reflections; 1.7 It is a mistake to write very often;

II. Sculpture in air is possible; 2.1 Sculpture in air is possible; 2.2 A delicate neck; 2.3 The Venus of Barma Grande; 2.4 The amber horse and other animals; 2.5 The mystery of the Venus of Berlin; 2.6 Venuses, women and many children; 2.7 The mystery of the tiny ivory head;

III. Intuitions, certainties and obsessions; 3.1 ‘[…] This pinpointed something in my mind and I knew from then onwards. I had always wanted to become a sculptor […]’; 3.2 ‘What is a cave? A cave is a shape’; 3.3 World War I and the boys of 1899; 3.4 Leeds and Moore’s first steps. A Gauguin, a wonderful Gauguin!; 3.5. London and the Royal College of Art; 3.6 The Suckling child and the mutilated breast; 3.7 Travelling to Altamira and the Dordogne caves; 3.8 ‘[…] I hate fascism and Nazism! […]’ The Shelter Drawings;

IV. Discovering prehistory; 4.1 Moore and prehistoric art; 4.2 In the hollow of one hand; 4.3 In the pockets of reindeer-made clothes; 4.4 Disproportion and identity; 4.5 The epic of prehistory; 4.6 Fossils between history and legends. From Russian mammoths to Henry Moore’s elephant; 4.7 A mysterious fascination. Findings from the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth century; 4.8 Boucher de Perthes, dreams, imagination and denials; 4.9 Altamira, the forgotten cave;

V. Henry Moore and the mocked Venuses; 5.1 The marquis and the statuette; 5.2 The Hottentot Venus; 5.3 The construction of a scientific myth; 5.4 Science and inhumanity; 5.5 Here and now, and part of the real life; 5.6 The tiny Venuses: Eve and Magdalene; 5.7 She was entirely the moon of my father’s sun;

The tough and the tender;


Basic Bibliography.

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