Henry Moore studied at the Royal Academy of Art in London, yet he soon defied traditional academic methods. Moore abandoned the use of clay preparatory models and began to carve directly into the surface of stone and wood; he sought to enhance the inherent characteristics of his natural materials. Massive pre-Columbian and Neolithic stone carvings, as well as the experimental abstract forms of avant-garde artists such as Jean Arp, strongly influenced Moore. He focused on the feminine figure as an archetype of earthiness, fertility, and nurture.
Composition is an early example of Moore’s use of interlocking biomorphic forms: both the open cavities and the curvilinear, organic forms suggest anatomical features. Moore’s gentle abstractions often recall the undulating hills of his native English countryside and thus further his equation of women with nature.