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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

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Jacob Epstein, by Augustus Edwin John - NPG 4119

Jacob Epstein

by Augustus Edwin John
chalk, circa 1900
NPG 4119

Jacob Epstein, by Sir Jacob Epstein - NPG 4126

Jacob Epstein

by Sir Jacob Epstein
bronze head, 1959 (1912)
NPG 4126

Jacob Epstein, by Powys Evans - NPG 4397

Jacob Epstein

by Powys Evans
pen and ink, published 1925
NPG 4397

Jacob Epstein, by Yousuf Karsh - NPG P490(28)

Jacob Epstein

by Yousuf Karsh
bromide print, 1955
NPG P490(28)

Jacob Epstein, by Barratt's Photo Press Ltd - NPG x21741

Jacob Epstein

by Barratt's Photo Press Ltd
bromide print, 1900s
NPG x21741

Jacob Epstein, by Emil Otto ('E.O.') Hoppé - NPG x132916

Jacob Epstein

by Emil Otto ('E.O.') Hoppé
modern print on sepia-toned Veribrom paper, 1911
NPG x132916

Jacob Epstein, by Alvin Langdon Coburn, published by  Duckworth & Co - NPG Ax7820

Jacob Epstein

by Alvin Langdon Coburn, published by Duckworth & Co
collotype, 24 January 1914
NPG Ax7820

Jacob Epstein, by George Charles Beresford - NPG x6395

Jacob Epstein

by George Charles Beresford
sepia-toned platinotype, 1 November 1916
NPG x6395

Jacob Epstein, by Central Press - NPG x36037

Jacob Epstein

by Central Press
bromide print, 1917
NPG x36037

Jacob Epstein, by George Charles Beresford - NPG x27889

Jacob Epstein

by George Charles Beresford
bromide print, 11 July 1921
NPG x27889

Jacob Epstein, by George Charles Beresford - NPG x6396

Jacob Epstein

by George Charles Beresford
vintage print, 1924
NPG x6396

Jacob Epstein, by Unknown photographer - NPG x194087

Jacob Epstein

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, 1925
NPG x194087

Jacob Epstein with 'Primeval Gods', by James Jarché, for  Daily Herald - NPG x88293

Jacob Epstein with 'Primeval Gods'

by James Jarché, for Daily Herald
modern bromide print from original negative, 25 April 1933
NPG x88293

Jacob Epstein, by Howard Coster - NPG x2381

Jacob Epstein

by Howard Coster
chlorobromide print, 1940
NPG x2381

Jacob Epstein, by Geoffrey Ireland - NPG x21742

Jacob Epstein

by Geoffrey Ireland
bromide print, 1950s
NPG x21742

Jacob Epstein, by Geoffrey Ireland - NPG x32725

Jacob Epstein

by Geoffrey Ireland
semi-matte bromide print on card mount, 1950s
NPG x32725

Jacob Epstein, by Geoffrey Ireland - NPG x8495

Jacob Epstein

by Geoffrey Ireland
vintage gelatin silver print, 1950s
NPG x8495

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