1 portrait on display in Room 33 at the National Portrait Gallery
by Yousuf Karsh
bromide print, 1955
23 3/4 in. x 19 1/4 in. (602 mm x 488 mm)
Given by the photographer, Yousuf Karsh, 1991
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), Sculptor. Sitter in 68 portraits, Artist of 14 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002), Photographer. Artist associated with 155 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Karsh found Epstein a restless sitter and described how the sculptor 'walked about his studio, talking all the time and apparently unconscious of my camera. It was only when I developed my films that I realised an odd coincidence. His hand adopted the attitude of the hand in monumental sculpture which I had used as a background. I suspected then that he must have used his own hand as a model.' This parallel between Epstein and his creation presents him as a similarly towering presence. Karsh included this photograph in his book, In Search of Greatness (1951). Behind him is his monumental Ecce Homo (19345) now in Coventry Cathedral.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 207
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Jacob Epstein: Portrait Sculptor (30 March 2013 - 24 November 2013)
Events of 1955back to top
Current affairsRobert 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 scienceMary 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.
InternationalWest 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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