Sir Osbert Sitwell
2 of 61 portraits of Sir Osbert Sitwell
Sir Osbert Sitwell
by Frank Owen Dobson
plaster cast of head, 1994, based on a work of 1922
12 3/4 in. (324 mm) high
Purchased with help from the Art Fund, 1995
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Sir (Francis) Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, 5th Bt (1892-1969), Writer. Sitter in 61 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Frank Owen Dobson (1886-1963), Sculptor. Artist of 8 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.
Linked publicationsback to top
Placesback to top
- Place made: United Kingdom: England, London (artist's studio, Manresa Road, Chelsea, London)
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Colour, Light, Texture: Portraits by Matthew Smith and Frank Dobson (5 August 2014 - 6 April 2015)
Events of 1922back to top
Current affairsThe British Broadcasting Company (later British Broadcasting Corporation) is established to experiment with radio broadcasting. It is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world, providing radio, television and Internet services to the public in Britain and across the world.
Art and science1922 is a key year for modernist literature with the publication of James Joyce's novel, Ulysses and T.S. Eliot's poem, The Waste Land. Both broke new ground with Ulysses (loosely based on Homer's Odyssey) introducing the 'stream of consciousness' narrative technique, and The Waste Land experimenting with multiple voices and a patchwork of literary, historic, mythological and personal allusions.
InternationalThe Soviet Union is formed under Joseph Stalin who takes power after Lenin suffers a debilitating stroke.
In an attempt to avoid civil war, King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy invites Benito Mussolini to form a new government following the Fascist Party's March on Rome.