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Hepworth, Dame Barbara


marble (parian)
29.0 x 33.0 x 21.5 cm

More Details

Doves 1927
Barbara Hepworth 1903 - 1975
Parian marble

Doves are often used as symbols of love.
As this is one of Hepworth's earliest works,
she seems to have chosen them as a subject
for the more practical reason that she kept an aviary.
She could carve the birds at around life size
from an inexpensive piece of fine white stone.

For centuries, exquisitely detailed Italian sculpture
has been made from fine white parian marble.
Hepworth makes this tradition modern
by simplifying and smoothing the form of the doves.
Her technique of direct carving also breaks with tradition.
Usually figures would first be modelled from clay
before being cast or carved in more expensive material.

Purchased 1942.91