This sculpture was commissioned by the Arts Council of Great Britain for the Festival of Britain exhibition in 1951. Moore was asked to make a carving of a family group symbolising 'Discovery', but he chose instead to make a large reclining figure in bronze. The Gallery's bronze is this original cast. Moore explained his liking for reclining figures in typically rational terms, observing that large standing figures have a weak point at the ankles. He began making reclining figures in the late 1920s, and in the late 1930s produced several small, bronze reclining figures: these established the long, sinewy form which culminated in this sculpture.