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Iris Beerbohm Tree (1897–1968) was a poet and actress who posed for many artists including Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.Here Epstein exploits the qualities of bronze by combining a rough patina with a high polish. In contrast to the rough texture of the face and neck, the sculpture’s ‘helmet hair’ has a highly polished, burnished surface. This not only suggests Tree’s strawberry blonde hair but also the modernity of her severely cut bob.

May 2010