Epstein grew up in New York, and studied in Paris before settling in London in 1905. Before the First World War he pioneered ‘direct carving’ and abstract art. In later years, he became celebrated as a portraitist, and modelled busts in clay. The sitter for this early bust was Nan Condron, a professional artist’s model, whom Epstein met at the Café Royal in Regent Street. Epstein worked from her for several years and sought a lively likeness that was expressive of her presence and character as well as her appearance.