Sir Jacob Epstein
Female Figure in Flenite 1913

Artwork details

Sir Jacob Epstein 1880–1959
Female Figure in Flenite
Date 1913
Medium Serpentine
Dimensions Object: 457 x 95 x 121 mm
Sculpture attached to (Paintable) plinth base 35 x410 x 330mm
Acquisition Purchased 1972
Not on display

Display caption

The large head, short limbs and symmetrical pose of this figure follow African rather than European sculptural conventions. Epstein admired Egyptian, Assyrian and African sculptures which he had seen in the British Museum and himself built up an important collection of African art. He equated what was seen then as ‘primitive’ art with a free sexuality and creativity, which he expressed here through the pregnant female form. The term ‘flenite’ used in the title was invented by Epstein to refer to the flinty hardness of the stone used, actually a material called serpentine.

July 2007

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