Henry Moore was born in Castleford, Yorkshire in 1898. He was highly celebrated as a sculptor, but was strongly influenced in his formative years by painters such as Giotto, Masaccio, Blake, Turner, Picasso and Michaelangelo. Moore attended the Leeds School of Art from 1919 to 1921. In 1921 he won a Royal Exhibition Scholarship to study sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London. He taught at the Royal College from 1924 to 1931 and at the Chelsea School of Art from 1932 to 1939. He was given his first one-man show in 1928 by the Warren Gallery, and during the same year he gained his first public commission- to carve a relief in stone for a façade of the new Underground Building in London.
Moore was a member of the Seven and Five Society from 1931 and was invited to join Unit One, a group whose members included Edward Burra, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Edward Wadsworth. In 1946 Moore was given his first overseas retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1948 he won the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale. He had a retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery in London in 1951 and 1968. He was first-prize winner at the Sao Paulo Biennale in Brazil in 1953.
Moore was a Trustee of the National Gallery in London from 1955 to 1974. In 1977 he formed the Henry Moore Foundation at Much Hadham in Hertfordshire.
He was notable throughout his career for his output of graphic art (drawings, watercolors, etchings, lithographs), not necessarily closely related to the development of individual works in sculpture. These, unusually for a sculptor, often used color and often established a complete pictorial setting for figures or for imaginary sculptural objects, in a manner recalling the work of De Chirico or Max Ernst. (He exhibited in the International Surrealist exhibition in 1936). During the Second World War, as an Official War Artist, he made a series of drawings of people sheltering in the London Underground, as well as studies of miners at the coalface. He frequently used watercolor over wax crayon employed as a resist.