Two Women in an Interior
Moore used what he called ‘sectional’ lines to suggest three-dimensional form consistently in the mid- to late 1940s. The lines delineate the contours of the figure, both vertically and horizontally. Graham Beal describes the sectional lines in Two Women in an Interior as being suggestive of ‘masonry and durability’, as opposed to the ‘x-ray-like transparency’ in other drawings, when the lines are white.  Alan Wilkinson uses this drawing as an exemplar and the culmination of this technique for Moore.  Here, the lines are used for more than depicting three-dimensional form. They have deviated on the faces of the figures to become decorative, particularly in the figure on the left, which gazes directly at the viewer. The patterning suggests that found in Polynesian or ancient Mexican sculpture.
The grid of the lines in the figures is echoed in the panes of the window, marking a complete domestic setting. Moore’s earlier drawings had presented figures or sculptural ideas in generalised settings, but in the period between 1946 and 1949, he depicted a number of domestic scenes. Moore’s niece, Ann Garrould, writes that the figures are based on her mother Mary (Moore’s sister) knitting and his wife, Irina, reading a book.  But rather than comforting, there is something uncanny about Moore’s domesticity. The interior seems oppressive. The curtains are heavy and encompass each figure. There is no view from the window – it is grey like solid metal, more a cage keeping them in than a window offering a view out.
Tania Moore, September 2020
 Graham Beal in Steven Hooper, Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, vol. I (New Haven and London: Yale University Press in association with University of East Anglia, 1997), p.43.
 Alan Wilkinson, The Drawings of Henry Moore (London and Ontario: Tate and the Art Gallery of Ontario, 1977), p.17.
 Ann Garrould, ‘Henry Moore and the Sainsbury Family’ in Colin Grant (ed.), Henry Moore at Dulwich Picture Gallery (London: Scala Publishers Ltd, 2004), p.18.
'Henry Moore at Dulwich Picture Gallery', Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 12/5/2004 - 12/9/2004
'Henry Moore and the Challenge of Architecture', Henry Moore Foundation, UK, 2006
'Bill Brandt / Henry Moore', The Hepworth Wakefield, UK, 7/2/2020 - 1/11/2020
Tania Moore, Henry Moore: Friendships and Legacies (Norwich: Sainsbury Centre, 2020)
Purchased by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury directly from the artist in 1948.
Donated to the University of East Anglia in 1973 (Sainsbury Centre).
Not on display
Title/Description: Two Women in an Interior
Artist/Maker: Henry Moore
Object Type: Drawing
Materials: Gouache, Ink, Paper, Pencil, Watercolour, Wax crayon
Measurements: Unframed: (h. 520 x w. 570 x d. 1 mm) Framed: (h. 782 x w. 833 x d. 56 mm)
Accession Number: 99
Historic Period: 20th century
Production Place: Britain, England, Europe
Copyright: © Reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation
Credit Line: Donated by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1973