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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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George Bernard Shaw
by Jacob Epstein
bronze bust, 1934
Photographs © National Portrait Gallery, London