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Journal of Art Historiography Number 26 June 2022 Henry Moore and the historiography of early Italian art Hans Bloemsma ‘We may say without exaggeration that the art of sculpture has been dead in England for four centuries; equally without exaggeration I think we may say that it is reborn in the work of Henry Moore’.1 With these words Herbert Read paid tribute to the young Henry Moore in his review of Moore’s solo exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in London in 1931. Read’s words unmistakably echo those of the Italian artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari, who almost four hundred years earlier had described in similar terms the artistic achievements of one of the great masters of early Italian art, the Florentine painter Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267-1337). In his Lives of the Artists of 1550/1568, Vasari wrote that Giotto had revived the art of painting after it had been buried for many years, and returned it to such a form that it could be called good.2 In portraying Moore as a modern...