Search the Collection

Jacob Epstein

(1880-1959), Sculptor

Sir Jacob Epstein

Sitter in 68 portraits
Artist of 14 portraits
The leading modernist sculptor of his day, Epstein was born in New York to Polish-Jewish parents, studying in Paris before moving to London in 1905. He quickly became known as a great sculptor, but his controversial work perhaps cost him an appointment as war artist and an RCA professorship. His nude figures for London’s British Medical Association building (1908) shocked Edwardian sensibilities, yet he continued to regularly exhibit life-size bronzes and portraits at the Leicester Galleries. Works include the influential The Rock Drill (1913-14), the essence of Vorticist style, and Oscar Wilde's tomb in Père Lachaise. Knighted in 1954, he completed several large commissions and portraits in his last decade.

Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

Tell us More

List Thumbnail

Jacob Epstein, by Jacob Epstein - NPG 4126

Jacob Epstein

by Jacob Epstein
bronze head, 1959, based on a work of 1912
On display in Room 30 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4126

Augustus John, by Jacob Epstein - NPG 4295

Augustus John

by Jacob Epstein
bronze bust, 1916
On display in Room 28 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4295

Joseph Conrad, by Jacob Epstein - NPG 4159

Joseph Conrad

by Jacob Epstein
bronze bust, 1924
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4159

George Bernard Shaw, by Jacob Epstein - NPG 4047

George Bernard Shaw

by Jacob Epstein
bronze bust, 1934
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4047

Jawaharlal Nehru, by Jacob Epstein - NPG 6905

Jawaharlal Nehru

by Jacob Epstein
bronze bust, 1948
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6905

T.S. Eliot, by Jacob Epstein - NPG 4440

T.S. Eliot

by Jacob Epstein
plaster cast of bust, 1951
NPG 4440

Family Tree


Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.