The J. Paul Getty Museum

Draped Reclining Mother and Baby

Object Details


Draped Reclining Mother and Baby


Henry Moore (British, 1898 - 1986)







Object Number:



139.7 × 265.4 × 144.8 cm, 1170.2803 kg (55 × 104 1/2 × 57 in., 1 tons 580 lb.)


© 2012 The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved. / ARS, New York / DACS, London

Credit Line:

Gift of Fran and Ray Stark

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Object Description

Composed of swelling masses, the reclining mother tenderly cradles her small child. Drapery largely conceals the massive figure's anatomy, but a clearly delineated arm forms a protective right angle around the stiff, inert baby. The mother's eyes--the only feature of her otherwise blank face--stare unblinkingly outward at the viewer. A rich, golden surface, punctuated by bright highlights and dark caverns, enhances the sculpture's warm, protective quality. The horizontal form's hollows and curves, tarnished and hatched to emphasize depth, partly transform the figure into a glimmering, rolling landscape.

This work combines several themes that preoccupied Henry Moore: the reclining figure, the relationship of mother and child, and the landscape. Moore began exploring the reclining figure motif in a series of drawings he made in the late 1920s--nearly sixty years before creating this sculpture. Despite his continued interest in this subject, the sculptor resisted attaching any specific or symbolic meaning to it. Instead, he insisted that the reclining figure was simply a formal vessel--a pose he understood and greatly appreciated-- that allowed him to explore questions of form.

- 1985

The Raymond Spencer Company, Ltd. (Hertfordshire, England), sold to Fran and Ray Stark, April 3, 1985.

1985 - 1992

Fran Stark and Ray Stark, upon the death of Fran Stark, retained by her husband, Ray Stark, 1992.

1992 - 2004

Ray Stark, upon his death, distributed to the Ray Stark Revocable Trust.

2004 - 2005

The Ray Stark Revocable Trust, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum.


Bowness, Alan and David Sulvester, editors. Henry Moore: Complete Sculpture. 6 vols. (London: Lund Humphries, 1977-1988).

Boström, Antonia, ed. The Fran and Ray Stark Collection of 20th-Century Sculpture at the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), pp. 130-33, no. 21, entry by Christopher Bedford.