Explore the intriguing intersection of art, family, and history in Epstein's captivating sculpture of Lucian Freud. Discover the unique connection between these two artistic giants and the rare opportunity to own a piece of their shared legacy.
6 October 2023
Epstein's portrait of Lucian Freud (1922-2011) was created in the same year that Freud, painter and grandson of Sigmund Freud, married Epstein's daughter, Kitty Garman. Epstein's portrait of his son-in-law captures the young artist's graceful yet powerful features, and a description of Freud by Deborah Cavendish (the Duchess of Devonshire, whom Freud was later to paint) is brought to mind when she described him as having 'a sort of starry quality...an extraordinary sort of mercurial thing. He's like something not quite like a human being, more like a will-o'-the-wisp'. Epstein's focus on the eyes and the intensity of the gaze echoes Freud's own portraits of Kitty at that time. Freud's portraits of Kitty are among his most well-known and celebrated works, and include Girl with a Kitten, 1947 (Tate, London) and Girl with Roses, 1947-48 (British Council Collection).
Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) Lucian Freud bronze with a light brown-gold patina, conceived in 1947 84cm wide 28cm deep 63cm high, on a wooden base 68cm high overall (£50,000-70,000)
The present work is a unique bronze cast of the full bust portrait of artist Lucian Freud; in her book (loc. cit.) Evelyn Silber lists seven known casts of the head only. The plaster version of the full bust portrait is in the collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, Ohio.
Sworders seller, who bought the bronze in 2012, reunited it with another Epstein bronze of Kitty of the same period. Offered with an estimate of £6,000-7,000, this represents a rare opportunity to purchase both Kitty and Lucian together.
Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) First portrait of Kitty (with curls) bronze with a gold-brown patina, conceived in 1944 42cm wide 43cm deep 47cm high overall, on a composite stone base (£6,000-7,000)
Both pieces come for sale as part of the contents of Colne Priory in Essex. The £7m Georgian red-brick country house built on the grounds of a medieval priory, set in 24 acres of immaculate garden was recently judged Earls Colne’s best address by Country Life magazine.
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