Jacob Epstein was arguable the most important British sculptor of the early twentieth century. He was influential in reintroducing direct carving into Britain, as well as encouraging public interest in African and Asiatic art. The controversy surrounding his public monuments made sculpture a matter of national debate.
In spite of the notoriety his public commissions brought, Epstein’s work was considered anachronistic during the later part of his life. His sculpture was always figurative, and he was not influenced by the trends towards surrealism or abstraction that developed in Europe from the mid 1920s onwards. However, as you will see on this website, he was an astonishingly perceptive portrait sculptor, and an innovative and inspired architectural sculptor.