Jacob Epstein

Christ in Majesty by Jacob Epstein

Dates: b.1880 - d.1959

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

‘I believe myself to be a return in sculpture to the human outlook, without in any way sinking back into the flabby sentimentalising or the merely decorative that went before … The deeply intimate and human were always sought by me, and so wrought, that they became classic and enduring.’ Jacob Epstein, 1940
Read more…

Featured artworks by this artist:

Other artworks in churches by this artist:

St Michael and the Devil (1958) & Ecce Homo (1934-5) both at Coventry Cathedral

Biography:

‘I believe myself to be a return in sculpture to the human outlook, without in any way sinking back into the flabby sentimentalising or the merely decorative that went before … The deeply intimate and human were always sought by me, and so wrought, that they became classic and enduring.’ Jacob Epstein, 1940
Jacob Epstein studied at the Art Student's League of New York, the Académie Julian (Paris) and the École des Beaux-Arts (Paris). Epstein was an extremely controversial figure in his time. The result of his first major commission for the British Medical Association caused a outcry and resulted in very few public commissions for the next thirty years.
With the passage of time Jacob Epstein is now seen as one of the foremost figures in British sculpture of the early 20th century. An artist whose work did not follow the trends of the day, whose influences brought an interest in African and Oceanic arts and whose controversy made sculpture a topic for national debate.
Major public commissions include; Oscar Wilde’s tomb, the façade for the London Electric Railway headquarters and the façade for the British Medical Association in the Strand (now Zimbabwe House) public outcry of indecency accompanied the unveiling of each.