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Jan Christian Smuts (plaster head) jacob_epstein_smuts-6601_v2_cutoutwshadow.jpg

Jan Christian Smuts (plaster head)

Item Code: JE-jcs-u
Medium
Plaster
Signed
Unsigned
Height (cm)
53
Date of Work
1953-5
Base price $12,667
Over-life-size plaster maquette of the head of the great South African Field-Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, commissioned by the Office of Works for Parliament Square in 1953.

‘The head of Smuts…makes a powerful impression.’ Richard Buckle, Jacob Epstein Sculptor, 1963.
Jacob Epstein portraitEpstein was born in 1880, the son of Polish Jewish refugees in New York’s Lower East Side. He moved to Paris aged 22 where he studied at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts before settling in England and becoming a British citizen in 1911.

In London, Epstein was involved with a bohemian and artistic crowd reflected in his work. His sculpture is distinguished by its unflinching realism – a style which attracted a great deal of controversy for its departure from conventions of classical sculpture. Epstein is said to have worked to his dying day on 21 August 1959. His work is displayed all over the world and helped forge the path for younger generations of sculptors, in particular Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
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