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Jacob Epstein, 1880–1959

Maquette for Ascension of Christ1958

This maquette represents the preliminary stage of what would have been one of Jacob Epstein’s last works, intended for Crownhill Church, Plymouth. The rough treatment, exaggerated drapery and expressive arm and head gestures all have roots in earlier religious work, particularly his ‘Christ Risen’ of thirty years earlier.

Working in a style described as “Expressive Naturalism”, there is a strong resemblance to medieval sculpture especially in the manner in which the drapery is rendered. The ascension theme is greatly reinforced through the angles and axes of the rising Christ, all of which point heavenward.

MediumLead maquette mounted on Perspex
Dimensions Unframed, 26.7 x 11.5 cm
Object size, 15 x 6 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992
Item NumberIMMA.197 GL
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Jacob Epstein, Maquette for Ascension of Christ, 1958, Lead maquette mounted on Perspex, Unframed, 26.7 x 11.5 cm|Object size, 15 x 6 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Jacob Epstein 1880–1959

Jacob Epstein was born in America to Polish parents. As a young adult Epstein moved from New York to Paris and then London. He became a British citizen in 1911. Taking the human figure as the primary focus of his work, Epstein was among a group of pioneering sculptors who promoted carving directly from stone. Epstein exhibited widely from the 1910s. A major retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Tate Gallery in 1953. He is represented in major collections worldwide.

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We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.