• 20th Century British Art auction at Christies

    Sale 5886

    20th Century British Art

    16 December 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 118

    Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959)

    Albert Einstein

    Price Realised  


    Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959)
    Albert Einstein
    signed 'Epstein' (on the base of the neck)
    bronze with a dark brown patina
    17 in. (43.2 cm.) high, excluding base
    Conceived in 1933.

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    Einstein posed for Epstein in September 1933, shortly after renouncing his citizenship and fleeing Germany. He was staying in a small beach hut on Roughton Heath in Cromer, Norfolk, at the invitation of the journalist and MP, Commander Locker-Lampson. Einstein sat for Epstein for 2 hours each day over a period of three days but left to take up a professorship at Princeton before the portrait was completed. Epstein described Einstein's 'Wild hair floating in the wind. His glance contained a mixture of the humane, the humorous, and the profound. This was a combination which delighted me. He resembled the ageing Rembrandt' (J. Epstein, Let There Be Sculpture, London, 1955, p. 77).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    J. Epstein, Let There Be Sculpture, London, 1940, pp. 94-6, another cast illustrated.
    R. Black, The Art of Jacob Epstein, New York and Cleveland, 1942, no. 91, pl. 62, another cast illustrated.
    J. Epstein, Let There Be Sculpture, London, 1955, pp. 77-8, another cast illustrated.
    R. Buckle, Jacob Epstein Sculptor, London, 1963, p. 321, another cast illustrated.
    E. Silber, The Sculpture of Epstein, Oxford, 1986, p. 174, no. 234, another cast illustrated.