Epstein, Jacob

BORN 10 Nov 1880, New York City, New York - DIED 21 Aug 1959, London: Kensington
GRAVE LOCATION London: Putney Vale, Stag Lane

Jacob Epstein was the son of Polish Jewish refugees who lived in New York's Lower East Side. As a child he was often ill and he developed an interest in drawing. He studied drawing and scupting at night in New York and worked in a bronze foundry during the days. He illustrated "Spirit of the Ghetto" by Hutchins Hapgood and used to money to move Paris in 1902. There he studied at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts.

In 1905 he settled in London. He married Margaret Dunlop and became a British citizen in 1907. He mostly worked in a cottage in Essex. In 1912 he finished the famous tomb for Oscar Wilde at Père Lachaise that he had started in 1909.

During the First World War he served briefly in the army. He had several relations with other women that were tolerated by Margaret and from these relationships five children were born.

When he started a relationship with Kathleen Garman in 1921 Margaret had had enough. In 1923 she shot at Kathleen and wounded her in the sholder. The relationship with Kathleen continued and she bore him three children. Kitty (b.1926) married Lucian Freud in 1948 and had two daughters with him (they divorced in 1953).

Margeret died in 1947. After he was knighted in 1954 he married Kathleen in 1955. He died in 1959 in London, working until the very last day. Lady Epstein donated the Garman Ryan Collection with included several of his works to the people of Walsall in 1973.

Work: "The Archangel Lucifer" (1944-1945, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery).

Related persons
• made a sculpture of Casati, Luisa, Marchesa
• designed grave monument of Wilde, Oscar

19/7/1909Oscar Wilde's remains are transferred to Père Lachaise in Paris. He had been buried for nine years at Bagneaux cemetery. Among those present were Robert Ross, Vyvyan Holland and Coleridge Kennard whose mother had anonymously given money for Wilde's tomb. [Wilde, Oscar]


Oscar Wilde's tomb at Père Lachaise, Paris. It was created by Jacob Epstein, who completed it in 1912.
Picture by Androom (06 Mar 1995)


The grave of Jacob Epstein at Putney Vale Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (12 May 2011)


The grave of Jacob Epstein at Putney Vale Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (12 May 2011)


The grave of Oscar Wilde at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (24 Oct 2014)


Picture by Androom (10 Nov 2016)


"Ecce Uomo" by Jacob Epstein at the ruins of the old Cathedral of Coventry.
Picture by Androom (09 Nov 2018)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Parisians, Robson Books, London, 1991
• Meller, Hugh, London Cemeteries, An illustrated Guide and Gazetteer, Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981
Jacob Epstein - Wikipedia

Erdmannsdorff, Friedrich Wilhelm

Published: 26 Jan 2013
Last update: 25 Apr 2022