Jacob Epstein with his 'Christ in Majesty'

1 portrait on display in Room 33 at the National Portrait Gallery

Jacob Epstein with his 'Christ in Majesty', by Geoffrey Ireland, circa 1955 - NPG x29399 - © Geoffrey Ireland / National Portrait Gallery, London

© Geoffrey Ireland / National Portrait Gallery, London

  • Larger Image
  • Image zoom
  • Buy a print
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

Jacob Epstein with his 'Christ in Majesty'

by Geoffrey Ireland
semi-matte bromide print, circa 1955
11 7/8 in. x 9 5/8 in. (301 mm x 245 mm) image size
Purchased, 1980
Photographs Collection
NPG x29399

Sitterback to top

  • Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), Sculptor. Sitter in 68 portraits, Artist of 14 portraits.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Ireland took this photograph at the Royal College of Art, where Epstein worked on commissions that were too large for his studio, and published it in Epstein: A Camera Study of the Artist at Work. Laurie Lee's introduction to this book praised Ireland for capturing 'the human figure of the artist himself, rapt and unposed, moving among his creations'. Epstein is shown here next to Christ in Majesty, a commission from Llandaff Cathedral. Epstein waived part of his fee for this sculpture so that it should be cast in aluminium instead of being made from gilded plaster.

Placesback to top

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1955back to top

Current affairs

Robert 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 science

Mary 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.


West 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.

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? 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 this 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.