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Barbara Hepworth (1903–1975) was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire and studied at Leeds School of Art (1920–21) alongside fellow artist Henry Moore. Both artists then continued their studies in sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London. They became proponents of Direct Carving, eschewing the traditional process of making a maquette which an artisan then uses to produce the finished work. In 1924, Hepworth went to Italy on a scholarship where Giovanni Ardini taught her how to carve marble. She married fellow sculptor, John Skeaping, in Florence, returning to London in 1926 due to his ill-health, and setting up a studio in Hampstead.