The Falling Warrior' is an abstract piece, yet Henry Moore was profoundly inspired by natural forms and made extensive studies of the human body. In this sculpture the human form is easily recognisable, despite the lack of detail.
Moore was greatly affected by his experiences of the First and Second World Wars. 'The Falling Warrior' conjures up the moment of agony just before death.
He was also influenced by the heroes of Greek mythology. In this sculpture Moore has stripped the figure down to its basic elements. The warrior seems to lack the power of a traditional hero and, while the piece has immense vitality, the sculpture would seem to suggest the failure of brute strength and the horror of war.
The surface of the sculpture is pitted with grooves and marks, alternatively smooth and broken like the surface of a rock which has been eroded by the elements. The bronze was treated with chemicals to look like rust or moss and to suggest organic decay. For Moore the organic forms of nature enclose the meaning and power of life.