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Henry Moore (1898-1986), Seven seated figures before ruined buildings
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DURING THE BLITZ of World War II (1939-45), many Londoners sought refuge in the Underground, even staying there overnight. The artist Henry Moore witnessed this and began making a series of sketches recording these scenes from the stations and platforms of the ‘tube’. As he said: ‘the scenes of the shelter world, static figures asleep — reclining figures — remained vivid in my mind, I felt somehow drawn to it all. Here was something I couldn’t help doing’.

Moore never drew in the shelters as he felt it would be insensitive. Instead he walked through the platforms and the groups of sheltering people, often spending all night below ground, and made discreet notes to remind himself of the scenes. He then created the drawings in his studio, sketching them on cheap notebooks with pen and ink, crayon and watercolor.

This is a leaf from the First Shelter Sketchbook.

Henry Moore (1898-1986), Seven seated figures before ruined buildings


From London, England AD 1940-41 L. 18.6cm Fit 16.2 cm
Bequest of lane Clark (1977)



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