Dame Barbara Hepworth (British, 1903-1975) Cantate Domino 209.8 cm. (81 1/2 in.) high (including the base) (Conceived in 1958, the present cast is number 2 from an edition of 6 and was cast by the Art Bronze Foundry. BH.244)
Sold for £542,500 in London, 17 November 2014

Art Market Review

Issue 9, July - December 2014

Page 18

Cantate Domino is a powerful and elegant sculpture conceived in 1958, just two years after Hepworth had begun to work with bronze; her first recorded piece using this medium. It is intended to be sited outdoors, and is most successful when viewed in the context of its surrounding landscape. Tastefully positioned in the Burton family's old garden on a low wall, with the undulating Yorkshire hills used as a backdrop, one begins to understand the spiritual nature of the work as the ascending forms reach into the limitless void of the sky above. A further and more accessible indication of this spirituality is found in the sculpture's title; Cantate Domino, which, when translated, means O Sing unto the Lord, and is the opening phrase of Psalm 98. The process of making these late 1950s bronzes was one that Hepworth rapidly embraced after decades of carving. Furthermore, it allowed her to work on a monumental scale and produce a greater number of pieces at a time when her work was in huge demand. It was arguably the most productive and creative phase of her long career.

Matthew Bradbury
Head of British and Irish Art

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