Skip to main content

Jacob Epstein, Sculptor

Jacob Epstein, Sculptor
Usage Conditions Apply
Walter Ernest Tittle, 9 Oct 1883 - 27 Mar 1966
Jacob Epstein, 10 Nov 1880 - 19 Aug 1959
c. 1932
Drypoint on paper
Image (overall): 25.4 × 20 cm (10 × 7 7/8")
Sheet (overall): 35.1 × 27 cm (13 13/16 × 10 5/8")
Mat (overall): 45.7 × 35.6 cm (18 × 14")
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Table
Jacob Epstein: Male
Jacob Epstein: Visual Arts\Artist\Sculptor
Jacob Epstein: Visual Arts\Artist\Illustrator
Jacob Epstein: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Watercolorist
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Bequest of Frank B. Bristow) The Corcoran Gallery of Art, one of the country’s first private museums, was established in 1869 to promote art and American genius. In 2014 the Works from the Corcoran Collection were distributed to institutions in Washington, D.C.
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Object number
Exhibition Label
The dynamic energy and human interest of his hometown, New York City, provided Jacob Epstein (1880–1959) with his earliest artistic inspiration and hinted at the qualities he would later develop as a pioneer of modern sculpture. Epstein began his artistic training as a painter, studying at the Art Students League in New York City in 1900. Vision problems forced him to abandon painting in favor of sculpture, which he pursued in Paris before settling in England in 1905.
Epstein created considerable controversy through his avant-garde approach to portrait sculpture and public monuments. Rejecting the polished, idealized appearance that other artists cultivated in imitation of classical Greek art, he deliberately developed a rugged surface quality and radically simplified forms inspired by African and other non-European art traditions. Epstein’s figures often convey frank sexuality that shocked contemporary sensibilities.
In this portrait, Walter Ernest Tittle vividly captured the artist’s defiant self-confidence.
El dinamismo y el interés humano de su ciudad, Nueva York, dieron a Jacob Epstein (1880–1959) su primera inspiración artística y la base de las cualidades que desarrollaría como pionero de la escultura moderna. Epstein comenzó su formación como pintor en la Liga de Estudiantes de Arte de Nueva York en el 1900. Problemas de la vista lo obligaron a cambiar la pintura por la escultura, y trabajó en París antes de establecerse en Inglaterra en 1905.
Epstein causó gran polémica con su enfoque vanguardista del retrato escultórico y los monumentos públicos. Opuesto a la apariencia pulida e idealizada que otros artistas cultivaban a imitación del arte clásico griego, Epstein creaba adrede superficies de aspecto tosco y simplificaba las formas drásticamente, inspirándose en tradiciones artísticas africanas y en general no europeas. Sus figuras suelen transmitir una franca sexualidad que incomodaba a sus contemporáneos. En este retrato, Walter Ernest Tittle plasma vívidamente la desafiante firmeza del artista.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery