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Ezra Pound

1 of 5 portraits of Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound, by (Percy) Wyndham Lewis, 1920 - NPG 6728 - © Wyndham Lewis and the estate of the late Mrs G A Wyndham Lewis by kind permission of the Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust (a registered charity)

© Wyndham Lewis and the estate of the late Mrs G A Wyndham Lewis by kind permission of the Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust (a registered charity)

Ezra Pound

by (Percy) Wyndham Lewis
crayon, 1920
14 1/4 in. x 10 5/8 in. (361 mm x 270 mm)
Purchased, 2005
Primary Collection
NPG 6728

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Sitterback to top

  • Ezra Pound (1885-1972), Poet. Sitter in 5 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • (Percy) Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), Painter and novelist. Artist associated with 39 portraits, Sitter in 18 portraits.

This portraitback to top

In the iconography of images of Pound, including several other portraits by Lewis, this is arguably one of the finest. This drawing was made the year Pound left London for Paris. The image manifests Pound's relationship with Wyndham Lewis and their joint activities in relation to Blast, the iconoclastic mouthpiece for Vorticism, to which he contributed both poems and articles. It is a bold exemplar of the Vorticist ethos of dynamism - the lines investing the likeness with a sense of energy, movement and life. Pound had coined the term to describe the British form of European Futurism.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Edwards, Paul, Wyndham Lewis Portraits, 2008 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 3 July to 19 October 2008), p. 56

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Subject/Themeback to top

Events of 1920back to top

Current affairs

The Government of Ireland Act (Fourth Home Rule Bill) partitions Ireland into the Irish Free State with a devolved parliament in Dublin and Northern Ireland with a devolved parliament in Belfast. The Communist Party of Great Britain is founded in London, uniting a number of independent socialist and Marxist parties into a single, united party.

Art and science

Queen Alexandra unveils a monument to Edith Cavell in St Martin's Place opposite the National Portrait Gallery. The English nurse was executed in Germany for helping hundreds of allied soldiers to cross the border from occupied Belgium to the neutral Netherlands. George V officially opens the Imperial War Museum at the Crystal Palace.


The Kapp Putsch threatens the newly formed Weimar Republic. In defiance of the Treaty of Versailles, the leaders of the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt refused to disband and marched on Berlin, occupying it on the 13th March. With the general army refusing to defend the city, the government fled to Stuttgart. The rebellion, however, failed after the workers joined a general strike, disabling their plans.

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