The art of Henry Moore returns to Florence
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The art of Henry Moore returns to Florence

50 years after the memorable exhibition at Forte Belvedere, Florence once again displays sculptures by the British artist.

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Tue 20 Sep 2022 4:05 PM

A multisite exhibition of the art of Henry Moore is now on in Florence and will continue until March 31, 2023.

Large Interior Form (1953-54) by Henry Moore in Florence’s piazza della Signoria. Ph. Andrea Paoletti

Aimed at celebrating the 50th anniversary of the unforgettable exhibition at Forte Belvedere in 1972, the show, which is titled Henry Moore in Florence, was made viable due to a renewed collaboration between the Henry Moore Foundation and the BIAF – Biennale Internazionale dell’Antiquariato di Firenze.

Large Interior Form (1953-54) by Henry Moore in Florence’s piazza della Signoria. Ph. Andrea Paoletti

Curated by Sebastiano Barassi, head of collections and programmes at the Henry Moore Foundation, and Sergio Risaliti, director of Florence’s Museo Novecento, the show consists of works, titled Large Interior Form and Family Group, which have been exhibited in two showstopping points: piazza della Signoria and the area in front of the San Miniato al Monte church, creating a dialogue between modern art and the historical-artistic heritage of Florence.

Family Group (1948-49) by Henry Moore outside San Miniato al Monte church, Florence. Ph. Andrea Paoletti

Henry Moore’s first life-size sculpture to be cast in bronze, Family Group (1948-49) was installed at the Barclay School in Stevenage, England upon completion. The post-war period called for a sculpture that countered the dehumanizing effects of war, which is abundantly clear in this gentle work. Metaphorically inspired by the birth of his daughter, Mary, the statue portrays an idealized family unit, in which two adults are mirroring each other, while the child connects them, forming a central knot. This artwork now sits outside San Miniato al Monte church, providing yet another reason to climb the steps beyond piazzale Michelangelo.

Family Group (1948-49) by Henry Moore outside San Miniato al Monte church, Florence. Ph. Andrea Paoletti

Over in piazza della Signoria, Large Interior Form (1953-54) formally investigates sculptural relationship, presenting one form within another. The sculpture began as the internal form of a larger work, called Large Upright Internal / External Form, which was crafted the same year. The large open forms accentuate the organic three-dimensional quality of the sculpture, inspired by pebbles found by the seashore.

Henry Moore Florence
Henry Moore at Forte di Belvedere, 1972. Ph. Roberta Resi and Luigi Ronconi

The displaying of these works in Florence occurs alongside another exhibition, Back to Moore Forte Belvedere 1972, which begins on September 22 and ends on October 3. Taking place in the Sala D’Arme of the Palazzo Vecchio, expect a selection of historical images from those who visited the famous exhibition in 1972. The memories of 100 participants are included, having been collected by the Museo Novecento through a competition launched in local newspapers and on social media.

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