Henry Moore’s deep interest in nature and organic forms led to his pioneering work in abstraction. Though this sculpture is not a literal interpretation of a butterfly, it suggests the general contours, symmetry of wings, and grace and beauty of its movement. This is one of many works from Moore’s mature career that was initially inspired by small bones the artist discovered on his rural studio grounds. This pedestal-scale sculpture, or “working model,” served as the basis for the colossal-scale work of the same title in Berlin, Germany.
Henry Moore. Working Model for Divided Oval: Butterfly, conceived 1967. Bronze, 23.5 x 38.63 x 25.25 inches. Gift of Fred and Lena Meijer © The Henry Moore Foundation.