Lithograph on vellum
29 x 30.3 cm; sheet: 64 x 51 cm
Signed by the artist and numbered as (Artist Proof) AP 2/10 from edition of 25
Auden Poems/Moore Lithographs, with essay by John Russell, British Museum Publications, London 1974, nº 86
David Mitchinson, Henry Moore Prints and Portfolios, Patrick Cramer, Geneva, 2010 nº 271, illustrated p. 206
About the work (From Petersburg Press, New York):
One of a series of 18 lithographs drawn by the artist for the Auden Poems/Moore Lithographs, 1974 book and portfolio.
This work is from an edition of 25 printed on vellum aside from the portfolio (edition of 75) and the book
Lullaby features a male figure standing behind a woman sleeping with her head down. This shadowy figure recurs throughout Moore’s Auden lithographs, an ambiguous presence who exists between menace and comfort. The imagery for Lullaby was inspired by Auden’s poem Lullaby. Lullaby was the first poem Moore read for this project, which begins:
“Lay your sleeping head, my love / Human on my faithless arm; / Time and fevers burn away Individual beauty from / Thoughtful children, and the grave / Proves the child ephemeral: / But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie, / Mortal, guilty, but to me / The entirely beautiful.”
Lullaby is one of a group of lithographs presented with the work of poet W.H. Auden (1907-1973). Not conceived as illustrations, Moore wanted his landscape and figure works to stand alone, complementing or contrasting with Auden’s poetry. This print displays Moore’s fascination with light and dark – what he called a “…bias towards the blackness and mysterious depths.” Moore was inspired by the prints of Rembrandt and the drawings of Seurat.
The Auden/Moore limited edition book (see) and portfolio were exhibited on publication at the British Museum, London, with an accompanying catalogue (see).
Copies of this lithograph are in the collections of Tate, London; British Museum, London; British Council, London; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; British Council, London; LACMA, Los Angeles; Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa