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Maurice Sterne and Henry Moore

Typically, art is created to elicit particular feelings and reactions in the observer. Often, in fact, the observer may not only have reactions to a particular piece of artwork, but they will also be reminded of other art pieces that may share similar qualities, or evince entirely different feelings in the observer. This paper will compare two sculptures by the artists Maurice Sterne (1878-1957) and Henry Moore (1898-1986). These sculptures are Sterne's "Sitting Figure" (1932) in marble and Moore's "Seated Figure: Armless" (1955) in bronze (see pictures attached).

Thematic Similarities and Relatedness

The most obvious similarity is that both are renditions of the nude female form in a seated position. Both are then in vulnerable, passive positions to the observer's gaze. In these positions of repose, while Sterne's figure is more classical, both refer back to archaic Greek sculpture, or the repose that consists of as an expression of composure ("NGA Sculpture Galleries"; Grohmann 230). Additionally, while both artists allow this repose to seem serene, they also make sure that the medium is distressed in some way as a contrast to this serenity. For example, instead of polishing the stone and finishing the hair (NGA Sculpture, Sterne left his figure with its natural texture, while Moore also created more texture and even allowed for a rough, pocked finish to the bronze to exploit the play of light on the sculpture (Grohmann 230).

In relation to one another, these are on opposite sides of the spectrum in regards to modernist art. On the one end, there is Sterne's "Sitting Figure," which combines the "lessons of [classical] tradition with the contemporary artistic environment" (NGA Sculpture Galleries At the other end is Moore's "Seated Figure," which is much more abstract. While the rough form is still that of a female, the curves, lines, and voids were created to exploit t


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Maurice Sterne and Henry Moore. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:42, May 26, 2020, from