George Bernard Shaw
Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London
George Bernard Shaw
by Jacob Epstein
bronze bust, 1934
22 in. x 10 1/4 in. (560 mm x 260 mm) overall
Sitterback to top
- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Playwright. Sitter in 147 portraits, Artist associated with 8 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), Sculptor. Artist of 14 portraits, Sitter in 68 portraits.
This portraitback to top
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.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 560
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Jacob Epstein: Portrait Sculptor (30 March 2013 - 24 November 2013)
Events of 1934back to top
Current affairsSir Stafford Cripps represents the miners of Gresford Colliery in Wrexham at an inquiry into the recent gas explosion and fire which killed 263 miners, and three rescue workers in one of the worst mining disasters in British history.
Art and sciencePercy Shaw invents 'Cat's eyes'. The development of road reflectors increased safety on the roads at night and proved to be particularly useful during the wartime blackout. They are still used today.
Dylan Thomas published his first volume of poetry, 18 Poems.
InternationalStalin and Hitler consolidate dictatorial power by 'purging' their opponents. In the Soviet Union, members of the Communist Party and particular sectors of society such as the intelligentsia were targeted in the 'Great Purge', while in Germany Hitler murdered hundreds of potential opponents in the SA during the 'Night of the Long Knives'.
Thousands in the USA are forced to flee their homes to escape the Dust Bowl storms.
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On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
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Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer