Sir Jacob Epstein Female Figure in Flenite 1913

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
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
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1972
Reference
T01691
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1910

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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