Sir Jacob EpsteinPortrait of Iris Beerbohm Tree 1915

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Artwork details

Sir Jacob Epstein (1880‑1959)
Portrait of Iris Beerbohm Tree
Date 1915
Dimensionsobject: 348 x 290 x 228 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1996
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1915


Iris Beerbohm Tree, the youngest daughter of the actor-manager Sir Herbert Tree and niece of the satirical artist Max Beerbohm (1872-1956), was a poet. This cast was bought by Dorothy Schmidt from Epstein. Another cast was purchased by John Quinn, an American lawyer who, between 1902 and his death in 1924, established a reputation as one of the most important collectors of European avant-garde art. The bust was first shown at the annual exhibition of the National Portrait Society, London in 1916. A year later it was included in Epstein's first solo exhibition at the Leicester Galleries, London where it was offered in an edition of six casts.

In March 1915 Rock Drill, Epstein's homage to the redemptive potential of machines, was displayed at the London Group exhibition where it was generally derided by the critics as a ridiculous and loathsome sculpture. Over the year Epstein's enthusiasm for machines waned as news of the very large number of casualties wrought by the mechanised warfare of the First World War (1914-18) reached Britain… (read more)

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