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Lot 37: Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959)

20th Century British & Irish Art

by Christie's

May 27, 2010

London, United Kingdom

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Description: Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959)
Sir Winston Churchill
signed 'Epstein' (on the back of the neck)
bronze with a green patina
11½ in. (29.2 cm.) high, excluding black marble base
Conceived in 1946.

Notes: VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.
This work was commissioned in November 1946 by the War Artist's Advisory Committee. Buckle writes '... it is the finest portrayal of Churchill in existence. Who is the happy warrior, if not he who has an artist of genius to fix his features in paint or bronze?' (loc. cit.).

The previous owner of this work was Eric Estorick (1913-1993), an American sociologist and writer who began collecting art when he moved to England after the Second World War. He was inspired by The Gallery of Living Art in Washington Square College, New York, whose collection included works by Léger, Matisse and Picasso. Estorick began collecting mainly Italian art, and some key pieces were exhibited and on long term loan to the Tate Gallery between 1966 and 1975. Towards the end of his life Estorick set up the Eric and Salome Estorick Foundation, and the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art was opened in 1994 in Canonbury Square, London.

Provenance: Eric Estorick.
with Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair, London, 1961, where purchased by the present owner.

Exhibited: Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1965, catalogue not traced.

Literature: R. Buckle, Jacob Epstein Sculptor, London, 1963, p. 302, another cast illustrated.
E. Silber, The Sculpture of Epstein, Oxford, 1986, p. 198, no. 371, another cast illustrated.

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