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Visual Artists of Leeds
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Bust of Jacob Kramer by Jacob Epstein, 1921

Jacob Epstein crafted this bust of his friend and fellow artist, Jacob Kramer (1892-1962), in 1921. Epstein says of Kramer, ‘[he] was a model who seemed to be on fire. He was extraordinarily nervous. Energy seemed to leap into his hair as he sat, and sometimes he would be shaken by queer trembling like ague. I would try to calm him so as to get on with the work.’ Can you see the energy in the movement of the sculpture? How easy do you think it would be to sculpt a 3D portrait of someone if they won’t sit still? To make the bust, Epstein will have modelled it in clay, to be cast in bronze afterwards.

Leeds Art Gallery. LEEAG.1931.0019.LAF. Bought by the Leeds Art Fund, 1931