Source of inspiration

In 1939, Barbara Hepworth moves with her family from London to St. Ives in Cornwall, as the threat of war is too great in the city. The new surroundings have a profound influence on her work: the landscape of Cornwall remains a permanent source of inspiration until her death 36 years later.


That is not to say that the forms of shells, stones and hills can literally be found in Hepworth’s sculptures. She does not want to be an observer of the landscape, but to be part of it, and to express that experience in her sculptures.

Waves and valleys

By experiencing herself as a standing, lying, sitting or moving form in nature, she develops the realization that, in her own words, ‘there is no landscape without the human figure’. In Pastorale, Hepworth expresses the totally relaxed sensation of a recumbent person familiar with the sea and hills – the waves and valleys – around her.