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    Sale 5884

    20th Century British Art

    15 July 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 23 A

    Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959)

    First Portrait of Isabel

    Price Realised  


    Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959)
    First Portrait of Isabel
    bronze with a brown patina
    21 in. (53.3 cm.), high
    Conceived in 1932.

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    Isabel Rawsthorne (1912-1992) was a powerful muse for both Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon. In the 1930s Giacometti sculpted bronze
    busts of Isabel and she proved to be a major influence for his Grandes Figures. During the 1960s Isabel became a close companion of Bacon and he painted several portraits of her. In fact Bacon painted more small heads of Isabel than of anyone other than himself.
    Rawsthorne was also a close friend of Michel Leiris and 'for a time the lover of the radical writer Georges Bataille' (see R. Calvocoressi, Francis Bacon: Portraits and Heads, Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland, p. 83). Her third husband was the composer Alan Rawsthorne.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Purchased from Lady Epstein in 1963.


    E. Silber, The Sculpture of Epstein, Oxford, 1987, p. 171, no. 221, another cast illustrated, as 'First Portrait of Isobel'.