'Elephant Skull Plate IV' by Henry Moore

For my A levels i am using this as one of my artist studies that guide to me create my final piece. My school makes us write essays on each of the artist, heres mine.

It will help any of you using the artist to understand what the work is about and the ideas and effects of composition, colour and materials

Comment back on the it! Thank you :)

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Henry Spencer Moore was an English sculptor and artist who became well-known through his
large-scale abstract cast bronze and carved marble sculptures. Moore did an album of enlarged
elephant skull drawings which were observed and created by looking at different angles of the skull
which he swiftly became astonished on due to its complex formation which is why the album contains
45 works by Moore. The album however contains a combination of "observation and imagination"
suggesting Moore's album is a fusion of something you can see and of something that is drawn with
creativity through memory. I choose Elephant Skull Plate IV out of the collection of elephant skull
The elephant skull enlargement has a structure as it is out of frame creating depth and reducing
negative space, there are also overlapping shapes such the shape at the bottom left of the drawing
which overlaps the centre creating depth. Moore uses curved and straight lines to create
concaved shapes and depth in his Elephant drawing.
There is an intense tonal difference in lights and darks; the bottom left shape is much lighter in
contrast to other areas of the skull. Henry Moore has used no particular palette as these sketches
are black and white therefore restricting his palette and concentrating more on the detail, depth
and tone in the skull rather than colour.
The use of materials used for these pieces are ink, pencil and pen which are used to creative visible ,
expressive and `imaginative' marks. By the look of it I think Moore used water colors and other
material to add tone, and used different tonal pencils to create harsher or softer marks.
During the late 19th century neo-romanticism started, a neo-romantic adds feeling and internal
observation to their work by drawing with inspiration from artists from high romanticism and from
places they distinguish in historic rural landscapes. Common neo-romantic themes are perfect love,
idealistic landscapes, nature reclaiming ruins, romantic death, and history-in-landscape.
Neo-romanticism is criticized for lacking a tolerable conception of evil in the modern world
I chose this drawing as I valued the approach Moore had in the way he observed the elephant skull
and used his imagination to emphasize inner landscape qualities within the skull by concentrating on
small areas. David Bomberg used similar expressive marks in his work yet he worked in colour and
used oil paints. However there are similarities between the two as Bomberg painted what he
personally saw instead of what others around him noticed. He used harsh brush marks to represent
the rough surface of the rock, similarly Moore's expressive marks using ink and other materials
exposed his curiosity in the concaved shapes within the small sections of the skull. John Craxton was
also a neo-romantic like Henry Moore and had similar views to him as he had a perfect view on
historical rural landscapes such as in `Llanthony Abbey' where beauty was given to ruins. Moore
gives a natural form a new theme to its original, using its natural ruins and distorted shapes
merged with his imagination to create a drawing which is an outburst of the skulls own energy which
was trapped within the concaved walls of itself.


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