Sir Jacob Epstein
Study for ‘The Rock Drill’ c.1913

Artwork details

Sir Jacob Epstein 1880–1959
Study for ‘The Rock Drill’
Date c.1913
Medium Charcoal on paper
Dimensions Support: 641 x 533 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1960
Not on display

Display caption

In his autobiography of 1940 Epstein recalled 'The Rock Drill' both in the first version depicted here, and in its final state: 'It was in the experimental pre-war days of 1913 that I was fired to do the rock-drill, and my ardour for machinery (short-lived) expended itself upon the purchase of an actual drill...and upon this I made and mounted a machine-like robot, visored, menancing, and carrying within itself its progeny, protectively ensconsed. Here is the armed, sinister figure of today and tomorrow. No humanity, only the terrible Frankenstein's monster we have made ourselves into...Later I lost my interest in machinery and discarded the drill. I cast in metal only the upper part of the figure'.

August 2004

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