© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved


Henry Moore (1898 – 1986)


64.5 X 51.5 CM
Accession number


W S Auden (1907-1973) was an English poet. His work used traditional verse forms with a fresh and light contemporary language. Moore decided almost from the outset that his lithographs should not be mere illustrations to Auden's poems but should stand as images in their own right, complementing or contrasting with the poetry. Moore summed up his approach:
‘Two people who are very unlike each other can come together over something common to them both; the fact that Auden was a Yorkshireman, as I am, and that Yorkshire landscape has always been a very exciting element in my life, made a strong link between us’.
For many years Moore had owned a drawing by the French pointillist artist Seurat. Seurat created his images from tiny dots that visually gave no outline to an object thus fusing the object into its surroundings. Moore used this technique, describing it as an entirely new way of drawing, using no outlines and fusing together space and form, light, depths and distances into a marvellous and mysterious unity of vision. There was never any question of introducing colour. Moore was always after a printed image identical to the blackness of the drawing, which described something of the bleak industrial landscape and the rugged high moors of Yorkshire. With Auden's death in 1973, the whole project became a tribute to his memory. The portfolio was printed in an edition of 75.