Art of the 20th Century

 



Art Styles in 20th century - Art Map

 





Jacob
Epstein





 


 

Sir Jacob Epstein
 

(b New York, 10 Nov 1880; d London, 19 Aug 1959).

British sculptor of American birth. Although he spent his childhood in New York, Epstein defined his identity as an artist only after moving to London in 1905. He had studied at the Arts Students League in New York before moving to the Académie Julien in Paris. His first two years in London remain relatively obscure, but in 1907 the architect Charles Holden invited him to execute a major commission for the new headquarters of the British Medical Association in The Strand (now Zimbabwe House). Holden and Epstein were united by their enthusiasm for Walt Whitman’s poetry, and they agreed that 18 large figures should be carved for the building’s façade, celebrating nakedness in the spirit of Whitman’s poems. Epstein himself announced that the scheme would celebrate ‘the great primal facts of man and woman’, and he managed to fuse the ‘medical’ side of the commission with his own most personal preoccupations: erotic delight, mortality, motherhood, virility and above all an uninhibited celebration of humanity in dignified nakedness. The National Vigilance Society, affronted by his figure of Maternity, started a vituperative press campaign to have the carvings removed. The assault nearly succeeded, and Epstein became notorious. However, the combined support of eminent artists, critics and museum directors saved the statues for the time being, although they were severely mutilated 20 years later, when the building’s disapproving new owners declared that their condition was unsafe.

 


 


Bust of the Actress Juanita Forbes
1940


 

Consummatum Est
1936


 

Ecce Homo
1934-1935


 

Elemental Figure
1932


 

Female Figure
1908-1910


 

Frog
1915


 

Girl with Gardenias
1943


 

Lucifer
1944-1945


 

Madonna and Child Cavendish Square, London
1950-1952


 

Madonna and Child
1950-52


 

Madonna and Child
1950-52


 

Cathedral Church
Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
Nave, statue


 

War memorial


 

Night
1928-1929


 

Primeval Gods
1931-1933


 

Piccaninny
1940


 

Sir Winston Churchill

Rabindranath Tagore
1926


 
 

Meum 
1916

Ronald Duncan


 
 

Bust of Dr Hewlett Johnson
1942

The tin hat


 

Lucien Freud
1947


 

The Visitation
1926

Miriam Plichte


 

Einstein


 
 

 An American Soldier

Paul Robeson



 
 

Haile Selassie
1936


 

Statue of Social Consciousness

1954
 

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