Jacob Epstein with his 'Christ in Majesty'

1 portrait on display in Room 33 at the National Portrait Gallery

Jacob Epstein with his 'Christ in Majesty', by Geoffrey Ireland, circa 1955 - NPG x29399 - © Geoffrey Ireland / National Portrait Gallery, London

© Geoffrey Ireland / National Portrait Gallery, London

Jacob Epstein with his 'Christ in Majesty'

by Geoffrey Ireland
semi-matte bromide print, circa 1955
11 7/8 in. x 9 5/8 in. (301 mm x 245 mm) image size
Purchased, 1980
Photographs Collection
NPG x29399


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Sitterback to top

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

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Ireland took this photograph at the Royal College of Art, where Epstein worked on commissions that were too large for his studio, and published it in Epstein: A Camera Study of the Artist at Work. Laurie Lee's introduction to this book praised Ireland for capturing 'the human figure of the artist himself, rapt and unposed, moving among his creations'. Epstein is shown here next to Christ in Majesty, a commission from Llandaff Cathedral. Epstein waived part of his fee for this sculpture so that it should be cast in aluminium instead of being made from gilded plaster.

Placesback to top

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1955back to top

Current affairs

Robert Anthony Eden becomes prime minister. In May 1955 Winston Churchill resigned due to ill health. His successor proved to be a similarly popular leader, winning an increased majority at the general election that year. Eden's popularity was due to a combination of his long wartime service, good looks and charm.

Art and science

Mary Quant introduces the 'Chelsea Look' with her Bazaar boutique. In the 1960s Quant was a major contributor to 'swinging London' introducing some of the seminal items of 1960s fashion: the miniskirt, hot pants, paint-box make-up and plastic raincoats.

International

West Germany joins NATO, prompting the East European Communist counties to respond by forming the Warsaw Pact. The signatories of the Warsaw Pact pledged to defend each other if any member was attacked. This development was a major event in the Cold War as it firmly established the East and West as opposing military powers.

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