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Lot 85: Sir Jacob Epstein L.G. (1880-1959)
20th Century British Art
November 30, 2004
London, United Kingdom
Second Portrait of Isobel
bronze with brown patina
70 cm. (27 1/2 in.) high
Richard Buckle, Jacob Epstein, Sculptor, Faber & Faber, London, 1963, p.209 (ill.b&w.p.208 & 209)
Evelyn Silber, The Sculpture of Epstein, Phaidon Press, London, 1986, p.173, cat.no.232 (ill.b&w.pl.25)
The model for this bust was a young art student named Isobel Nicholas and Epstein produced two portraits of her in 1932. She went on to become a painter and designed two ballets. She married three times, first to the political journalist Sefton Delmer and then to the composers Constant Lambert and Alan Rawsthorne (respectively).
The second portrait of the sitter (present lot) was definately the more exotic and flamboyant of the two. Richard Buckle described the work as:
'a triumph....The sculptor's mastery shows itself in the way that, observing narrowly every minute graduation of plane and outline, he knows by instinct or experience just where to exaggerate the curl of a lip, the length of a neck, the elegance of a waist or wrist, the outward jut of the breast....a picture of savage sophistication.' (Richard Buckle, Jacob Epstein, Sculptor, Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 1963, p.209)