Jackie in Plain, Lace Collar Shirt
Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959). Original drawing, ca. 1937/38, in charcoal or black chalk on thin, yellowish wove paper, 570 x 444 mm., signed; bits of old tape at the sheet edges. Sir (he was knighted in 1954) Jacob Epstein, the great and influential sculptor did a series of drawings of his young son Jackie, age at the time about four. Though hardly controversial, as much of Epstein’s work to that time was (several works were defaced or destroyed by people who objected to them), these drawings, most of them bigger than life size, are still clearly his work. His fascination with the boy shows, but there is nothing in the way of sentimentalism and the sheer size of the drawing gives it both a power and a modernity that is striking (whether or not one likes it). Epstein was born and raised in America on New York's lower East side, moved to Europe in 1902, where he studied in Paris, and became a British citizen in 1911. HIs sculpture abandoned the conventions of classical Greek sculpture for a rough-hewn realism with influences of Indian and African art, an avant-garde approach and sometimes explicit sexuality.