28
28
Sir Jacob Epstein
1880-1959
MAQUETTE FOR NIGHT
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 22,800 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
28
Sir Jacob Epstein
1880-1959
MAQUETTE FOR NIGHT
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 22,800 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Sir Jacob Epstein
1880-1959
1880-1959
MAQUETTE FOR NIGHT

Provenance

A gift from the Artist to Dame Myra Hess, and thence by family descent to the present owner

Exhibited

London, Leicester Galleries, 'Girl with Gardenias' and some other recent sculpture by Jacob Epstein, May-June 1944, no.7 (another cast);
London, Leicester Galleries, Fifty Years of Bronzes and Drawings by Sir Jacob Epstein, June-July 1960, no.25 (another cast);
Leeds, City Art Galleries and London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Jacob Epstein: Sculpture and Drawings,  1987, no.131, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, p.226 (another cast).

Literature

Jacob Epstein, Let There be Sculpture, Michael Joseph, London, 1940, p.158;
Richard Buckle, Jacob Epstein: Sculptor, Faber and Faber, London, 1963, p.164, illustrated fig.252 (another cast);
Evelyn Silber, The Sculpture of Epstein, Phaidon Press, London, 1986, no.188, illustrated p.164 (another cast).

Catalogue Note

In 1928 the board of the Underground Railway commissioned Epstein to make two carved figure groups for the space above the doors of the new Underground Electric Railways Headquarters building at 55 Broadway, Westminster. Working alongside architect Charles Holden for the second time, Epstein proposed the concept of 'Day' and 'Night', the former depicting a seated man holding a boy between his knees, the latter taking the form of a Pieta. Epstein explained that Night was 'a mother-figure with her child exhausted and sleeping under her protection and benediction'. The clay maquette (now in the collection of Ein Harod, Israel) was later cast in bronze in an edition of 4, and there are related drawings in the collection of Leeds City Art Galleries and Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.

This particular piece was given by Epstein to his friend, the concert pianist Dame Myra Hess (1890 - 1965). Already a musician of international stature, Dame Myra became a heroine during World War II, for the series of now legendary lunch-time concerts - which took place with the blessing of Sir Kenneth Clark - in London's National Gallery. Her daily concerts brought exceptional musical talent to the ears of Londoners from every walk of life and continued without cease, from 10th October 1939 until the last concert on 10th April 1946 - thus the concerts had run without a break for exactly six-and-a-half years. The concerts provided a remarkable oasis of calm in the midst of the German bombardments, and by the end of the war well over three quarters of a million people had come to listen to chamber music, over 791 musicians had played, together with 24 conductors, 15 choirs, 13 orchestras and 56 other ensembles.

Dame Myra's contribution to the war with her music was acknowledged by King George VI: in 1941 she was promoted in the Order of the British Empire from Commander to Dame, and a year later was presented with the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society, amongst other national and international honours.

20th Century British Art

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