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1880 – 1959

Peggy Jean Asleep
26 x 30.2 x 29.8 cm
Presented by the Art Fund, 1955 © The Estate of Jacob Epstein. Photographer Norman Taylor


A pioneer of modernist sculpture, Epstein was often the subject of controversy for his monumental avant-garde public commissions. But throughout his career he also consistently produced intimate portraits of his wife, his lovers and their children.

His daughter Peggy Jean was one of his favourite subjects, especially when she was very young. This work shows her at the age of 18 months. Epstein wrote: ‘I never tired of watching her, and to watch her was, for me, to work from her… To work from a child seemed to me the only work worth doing.’