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Jacob Epstein

(1880-1959), Sculptor

Sir Jacob Epstein

Sitter in 67 portraits
Artist of 14 portraits
The leading modernist sculptor of his day, Epstein was born in New York to Polish-Jewish parents, studying in Paris before moving to London in 1905. He quickly gained a reputation as a brilliant sculptor, however his bold work courted controversy, and may have cost him an appointment as war artist and a professorship at the RCA. In spite of criticism, he regularly and successfully exhibited life-size bronzes and portraits at the Leicester Galleries. Works include The Rock Drill (1913-14), the essence of Vorticist style and a great influence on his contemporaries, and Oscar Wilde's tomb in Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Knighted in 1954, Epstein completed numerous large commissions and portraits in his last decade.

Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below Gallery website users only

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Sir Jacob Epstein with plaster of 'Social Consciousness', by Ida Kar - NPG x136748

Sir Jacob Epstein with plaster of 'Social Consciousness'

by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1951-1953
NPG x136748

William Somerset Maugham; Jacob Epstein, by Ida Kar - NPG x136752

William Somerset Maugham; Jacob Epstein

by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1951
NPG x136752

William Somerset Maugham; Jacob Epstein, by Ida Kar - NPG x136753

William Somerset Maugham; Jacob Epstein

by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1951
NPG x136753

William Somerset Maugham; Jacob Epstein, by Ida Kar - NPG x136754

William Somerset Maugham; Jacob Epstein

by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1951
NPG x136754

William Somerset Maugham; Jacob Epstein, by Ida Kar - NPG x136755

William Somerset Maugham; Jacob Epstein

by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1951
NPG x136755

Jacob Epstein sculpting Elizabeth Keen, by Ida Kar - NPG x136760

Jacob Epstein sculpting Elizabeth Keen

by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1951
NPG x136760

Jacob Epstein sculpting Elizabeth Keen, by Ida Kar - NPG x136761

Jacob Epstein sculpting Elizabeth Keen

by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1951
NPG x136761

Sir Jacob Epstein, by Michael Peto - NPG x137297

Sir Jacob Epstein

by Michael Peto
modern bromide print from original negative, 1951
NPG x137297

Sir Jacob Epstein, by Michael Peto - NPG x137298

Sir Jacob Epstein

by Michael Peto
modern bromide print from original negative, 1951
NPG x137298

Sir Jacob Epstein; Judith Lade, by Unknown photographer, for  Keystone Press Agency Ltd - NPG x136479

Sir Jacob Epstein; Judith Lade

by Unknown photographer, for Keystone Press Agency Ltd
vintage press print, 4 March 1952
NPG x136479

Jacob Epstein, by P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd - NPG x36036

Jacob Epstein

by P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd
bromide print, 1953
NPG x36036

Jacob Epstein, by Ida Kar - NPG x133283

Jacob Epstein

by Ida Kar
vintage bromide print, 1953
NPG x133283

Sir Jacob Epstein, by Ida Kar - NPG x135200

Sir Jacob Epstein

by Ida Kar
vintage bromide print, 1953
NPG x135200

Anna Neagle; Jacob Epstein, by Ida Kar - NPG x136756

Anna Neagle; Jacob Epstein

by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1953
NPG x136756

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