'Reclining Nude' Sir Jacob Epstein KBE 1880 – 1959

'Reclining Nude' Sir Jacob Epstein KBE 1880 – 1959

Circa 1928
Height 44.50cm [17.52 inches]
Width 44.50cm [17.52 inches]

Artist's Resale Right applies @ 4%

Graphene on Paper

Signed Epstein
Circa July / August 1928

Christies December 12, 2013 (Lot 49)

Godfrey Philips Gallery October / November 1928

Jacob Epstein Seventy-Five Drawings
Herbert Wellington 1929
The Art of Jacob Epstein
Robert Black 1942

Sir Jacob Epstein KBE 1880 – 1959
Born in the USA, Jacob Epstein moved to London in
1905 after studying in Paris – the epitome of Avant-
Garde – with a freewheeling love life to match. He,
as an artist, broke free from convention with a ‘Truth
to Material’ through direct carving and by seeking
inspiration from non-European sculptural traditions
(India being a rich source). He was a boundary-breaking
modern like Picasso, Brancusi and Modigliani, who
he met in Paris when carving Oscar Wilde’s Tomb
(1912 – 13). He was a founder member of the London
Group and a Vortasist (along with Gaudier Brzeska) –
‘Rock Drill’ being his pivotal contribution. │ In drawing,
Epstein seemed to work with his favourite models in
feverish bouts of activity. One such episode ‘studies
of life rather than studies of form and details from
life’ resulted in an exhibition ‘Seventy-five Drawings’
at the Godfrey Phillips Gallery in 1929 – the drawings
completed in July and August of the previous summer.
Here is one of those virtuoso drawings (a corresponding
version held in the Tate collection) – a sinuous line
capturing the languid dreamy model in repose. │ In
contrast to his early epic works he was a sought out
modeller, portraying a good number of the Brights of
his day; Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill being but
two of many. He had though taken, as Henry Moore
said, ‘the brickbats’ for the next generation with his
works Rima, Night and Day and Oscar Wilde’s Tomb,
variously whitewashed (green paint), tarred, feathered
and covered over. His works Adam, Consummatum Est,
Jacob and the Angel, and Genesis were placed for a while
in a Blackpool freak show! Epstein’s true rehabilitation
only came late in his career with public acceptance, a
flurry of commissions and a Knighthood.