Sir (Francis) Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, 5th Bt

1 portrait

Sir (Francis) Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, 5th Bt, by Frank Owen Dobson, 1994 (1922) - NPG 6320 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir (Francis) Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, 5th Bt

by Frank Owen Dobson
plaster cast of head, 1994 (1922)
12 3/4 in. (324 mm) high
Purchased with help from the Art Fund, 1995
Primary Collection
NPG 6320

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Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Frank Owen Dobson (1886-1963), Sculptor. Artist of 7 portraits, Sitter in 18 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This fine, thoughtful and slightly cubist bust of Sir Osbert Sitwell was the result of a commission from the sitter to Frank Dobson in 1921. Dobson was widely regarded as an extremely promising sculptor, working in a modern idiom under the influence of Brancusi and Gaudier-Brzeska. Sitwell went for sittings in the artist's house in Manresa Road, Chelsea, almost every day for a period of three months in late 1921 and early 1922, just at the time when he, his sister Edith and their lodger William Walton were planning the musical entertainment Facade. In fact, Dobson subsequently provided the backcloth for Facade. This plaster head, rescued from Dobson's studio after the Blitz, is the original from which the better known polished brass version (Tate) was cast. T.E. Lawrence regarded the brass head as a brilliant work; 'the finest portrait bust of modern times...appropriate, authentic and magnificent in my eyes, I think it's his finest piece of portraiture and in addition it's as loud as the massed band of the Guards.' Acquired with help from the National Art Collections Fund, 1995.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG 6321: Sir (Francis) Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, 5th Bt (metal cast)

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