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Henry Moore (United Kingdom)

Castleford, 1898 – Much Hadham, 1986

King and Queen

Moore refers to the notion of royalty, which he considered ancient and primitive.

This royal couple does not in any way refer to present-day royalty but rather to the very archaic idea of a dynasty. Moore does not exclude that reading fairy tales to his daughter drew his attention to the theme.

In 1954, in the margin of his exhibition in New York in the Curt Valentin Gallery, Henry Moore wrote: “The conception has no reference to present-day royalty but to a very ancient idea of royalty, dynasty. Perhaps the main clue to the group can be found in the king’s head, which is head and crown, face and beard There is something animal and Pan-like about it and yet it is also royal. I don’t know how I came up with the idea for this group. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that in the last two years I have read stories to my daughter, and most of them were about kings and queens. This might have opened me up to the subject.”

Henry Moore was one of the leading sculptors of the twentieth century. His works are included in collections around the world and have also travelled widely for exhibitions. He was influenced by the archaic and primitive (including pre-Columbian) art. Later in his career, his style became more surreal and abstract, with distorted heads and reclining or sitting female figures. His work exhibits a strong humanist quality and a keen interest in the landscape, which is expressed in his work in Middelheim Park.


Number 2 on the map


  • King and Queen
  • 1952–53
  • h 170 cm x w 150 cm x d 95 cm
  • Bronze
  • MIDW044

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