The Sculptor Speaks: Jacob Epstein to Arnold L. Haskell, a Series of Conversations on Art

By Jacob Epstein; Arnold L Haskell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
IN THE STUDIO
MODELLING AND CARVING -- SYMBOLISM AND REALISM
-- ON PORTRAITURE, CHARACTER AND LIKENESS--
NAMING A WORK -- DISTORTION IN ART -- ROUGH
SURFACE TREATMENT

(WE are surrounded by sculptures. It is difficult to select or even to see the work at all clearly. Much of it is shrouded in dust sheets, and it is there in great quantity.

One of the most arresting pieces is the bust of Lord Rothermere, perhaps the finest portrait bust of our times. It is a work of unusual strength that gives the illusion, as do so many of Epstein's works, of being in heroic size, till one examines the mass of subtle detail that has gone to its making. It is entirely unforced and untheatrical, no one point is exaggerated unduly in order to produce an immediate effect of power, in the manner of so many of Bourdelle's works, yet it is undoubtedly romantic. A refutation of the idea that a toga is a more fitting garment for a public man than a coat and collar.

-56-

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