Henry Moore’s Sheep Sketchbook
Artist(s): Henry Moore
Author(s): Henry Moore and Kenneth Clark
Year published: 2008
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 112
Illustrations: 4 colour and 92 b&w
5 in stock
It was whilst working in a small room overlooking the fields at his home in Much Hadham that Henry Moore first became aware of the sheep grazing there. He began to draw them and, as he sketched, he explored what they were really like – the way they moved, the shape of their bodies under the fleece. They also developed strong human and biblical associations, and the sight of a ewe with her lamb evoked the mother-and-child theme – a large form sheltering a small one – which has been important to Henry Moore in all his work. He draw the sheep again that summer after they were shorn, when he could see the shapes of the bodies which had been covered by wool.
Solid in form, sudden and vigourous in movement, Henry Moore’s sheep are created through a network of swirling and zigzagging lines in the rapid and (in the artist’s hands) sensitive medium of ballpoint pen. The effect is both familiar and monumental; as Lord Clark comments, ‘We expect Henry Moore to give a certain nobility to everything he draws; but more surprising is the way in which these drawings express a feeling of real affection for their subject’.