A picture of me, from Henry Moore to his girlfriend, surrounded by nudes his girfriend

IN A newly discovered letter from Henry Moore to a girlfriend, the sculptor paints an idyllic picture of himself sitting in a shady garden reading her letters while in the company of nude women.

The drawing is part of a set of 18 previously unpublished letters he wrote to Evelyn Kendall, a close friend and fellow student from the Royal College of Art, London, in which he describes, in detail, his daily routine.

The letters, some of which run to 12 pages, were unknown until Miss Kendall's daughter took them to the BBC television programme Antiques Roadshow. Included in a big sale of English literature and history at Sotheby's on 15 July, they are expected to fetch up to pounds 350,000 at auction.

Moore and Kendall were friends during the 1920s, and although she was said to have harboured "expectations" from the relationship, they did not marry and she was believed to have been disappointed.

In one of the letters, Moore included a rough pen and ink sketch of himself reading one of her letters, surrounded by nude models "waiting on the common for a job". He also drew sculptures - "all the works I haven't done" - and pointed out a large inky blotch which, he said, was a "failed" attempt to draw Miss Kendall.

The sculptor wrote oftenabout his attempts at "carving" and his hopes of producing something "of which I'll not be ashamed". He told her his plans for Christmas and a visit to the dentist. In another letter he described his routine and confessed he loved talking about "myself and sculpture in particular".

He writes: "Yesterday I began the bust of Betty (sisters dont [sic] make good models - they lack obedience). I could make a good thing of this head of Betty, given enough time & no spectators. As we approached Braconash there was one [tree] cut down - it was a wonderful piece of sculpture, one yard of it especially - which I'd like to cutout, place on a base to keep near me when I'm working, perhaps call it Fecundity, forat [sic] the front it has two large swellings which burst through the large mass like the breasts of a huge primitive woman.

"I get up about 9 - begin carving about 10 - carve for an hour then stretch my legs by getting a pear or two from the pear tree, then carry on till 12.30 ... Carve again till 4."

Peter Beal, of Sotheby's, said: "These letters are a major discovery. No one even knew they existed. They are so vivid and give such insight into what he was doing at the time and how he liked to work."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve