Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin at Compton Verney

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to blog these photos. I took them in July on my first of two visits to an exhibition of Moore and Rodin sculptures and drawings at Compton Verney in Warwickshire.

[Rodin’s Cybele in the foreground, ‘The Arch’ by Moore’ across the lake]

I hadn’t been aware what an important influence Rodin had been on Moore, and the similarity in their treatment of the human body, was all the more pronounced having seen the contrast between Moore and Bacon in an exhibition at the Ashmolean earlier this year.

[Moore ‘Seated Woman’]

The exhibition was very well curated. Placing Moore’s ‘Reclining Figure: Bunched’…

…next to Rodin’s ‘Fallen Caryatid with Stone’ emphasised their common sinuousness.

 Moore’s ‘Upright Motive No 9’ looked quite vulnerable next to…

Rodin’s confident ‘Walking Man, on a Column’.

 Moore owned a casting of this bronze, and took lots of magnificent photos of it…

…which were on show, along with sketches, models and some exquisite small pieces inside.

Rodin’s ‘Eve’ hid in dabble shadow, whilst…

…this magnificent ‘Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae’ by Moore…

…shone in the sun close to Rodin’s ‘Monument to the Burgers of Calais’.

My favourite? Moore’s ‘Seated Woman’, who reminds me my beloved Moore’s ‘Draped Seated Woman’ at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Old Flo).

Moore at Kew

On Friday, a glorious autumn day, we went to Kew Gardens to see a Henry Moore exhibition.

As you’d expect on such a beautiful day the place was packed with toddlers (falling around like human skittles, as The Boy said) and photographers. If you want to see what the latter got up to, Kew have put up a special online gallery.

It was great to see the kids play with the sculptures and just enjoy them. I misread the signs and thought that you weren’t supposed to touch the sculptures. In fact, you weren’t supposed to climb on them, touching was OK. I’m a bit miffed as I’d have loved to run my hands over them.

So why do I love Henry Moore so much? I don’t have the ‘arts bollocks’ vocabulary…but I guess it’s something to do with the organic nature of the shapes. It touches me in a very primal way.

Although I do think the child here looks rather too much like a baby penguin!

There’s always one isn’t there?

He did take this excellent picture of this amazingly textured wall though.

These interlocking forms changed and seemed to ripple as you walked round them.

This pierced oval was inspired by an elephant’s skull. I was intrigued by this tree which seemed to be wearing Elizabethan hose.

The Lily House is wonderful. Round the walls they have a fantastic collection of pepper plants.

Hey look…it’s Kew, I have to have a flower photo!

Now, I’ve read enough Victorian (or set in Victorian times) novels to know that you have assignations in the Palm House. It’s so hot and humid in there, you can see why the heroines swooned down like ninepins. The plants are great, but I think that the structure is the real star here.

I loved these dank little steps which were out of bounds.

Kew must take a lot of upkeep.

This lion was having a wash and brush up.

Check out the inscription!

Our mad climate – crocuses at this time of year!

Henry Moore Feet

Here is a picture I took a few years ago. I love the fact that Katie and her daughter Holly have the same shape feet. I call them Henry Moore feet – as his statues have feet the same shape.