Epstein, Sir JacobStudy of New Born Babe

Study of New Born Babe
Black chalk drawing by Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959)

The theme of motherhood and birth were a lifelong preoccupation for Epstein. This tenderly observed sketch is one of the few works to survive from Epstein’s time working and studying in Paris between 1902 and 1905.
In 1904, a model carrying her new born child in her arms came to his studio asking for work. Epstein immediately seized the opportunity to produce several intensely observed studies of her child and two bronze sculptures of the baby both awake and asleep. The studies contrast the solidity of the baby’s body and the fragility of the limbs, the mother is lightly indicated as the nourishing force behind the sleeping form.