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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  

    Estimate

    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


    Provenance

    Purchased from Lady Epstein in 1963.


    Literature

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