George Bernard Shaw

1 portrait

George Bernard Shaw, by Sir Jacob Epstein, 1934 - NPG 4047 - Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

George Bernard Shaw

by Sir Jacob Epstein
bronze bust, 1934
18 in. (457 mm) high
Purchased, 1958
Primary Collection
NPG 4047


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Sitterback to top

  • George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Playwright. Sitter in 140 portraits, Artist associated with 8 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), Sculptor. Artist of 14 portraits, Sitter in 67 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Shaw helped Epstein to become established in London but did not sit for a portrait until 1934. Shaw stripped to the waist, rather to Epstein's dismay: while the original bust included Shaw's torso, Epstein preferred this reduced version. He felt the portrait captured 'elements so subtle that it would be difficult to explain'. Shaw, however, turned down Epstein's offer of a copy of the bust, later revealing that his wife refused to have it in the house.

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