Henry Moore
'Reclining Figure' 1951

This sculpture had acquired a rather dull, flat finish, possibly as a result of a recent treatment, that seemed out of keeping with other examples of Moore’s work. After some research we discovered early images of the work, suggesting that it had originally been given a lighter green mottled patina.

We consulted with the conservators at the Henry Moore Foundation and undertook treatment to reinstate some of the mottled green colouration on top of the existing matte brown finish. This involved application of cold patinas made using recipes from foundry assistants working with Henry Moore. Once the cold green patina had been built up in successive layers we applied several layers of clear wax, which were buffed after each application. This process gave the bronze surface more depth and surface variation as indicated in early photographs of the sculpture. With regular maintenance this treatment should ensure that the sculpture will age outdoors so that its appearance is closer to the artist’s intent. 

With thanks to:

Roger Griffith of Two Sticks Inc., who collaborated with me in the organisation of this project and assisted with treatment.

Christopher Moore, who assisted in the treatment.

The Henry Moore Foundation for its advice.

Sculpture  conservation restoration  restoration cleaning and repair 


Henry Moore


'Reclining Figure' 1951


Private client