Jacob Epstein(1880-1959), Sculptor
Sir Jacob Epstein
Sitter in 68 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