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Hélène: M.11-1931

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 10 (Octagon)




Sculptor: Epstein, Jacob




Bronze. Hair is parted in the centre with a bun at back; a low cut dress, off the shoulders, and both arms to the elbow; the hands clasped in front of the left breast are detached. The head is bent forward and tilted slightly to the left.

Legal notes

Given by A.E. Anderson

Measurements and weight

Height: 53.4 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1931) by Anderson, A.E.


20th century
George V
Production date: AD 1919


The model for this bust, Hélène, was of dual ethnic heritage and married to the musician W. Yellin. The half-smile, gentle expression and demure gesture of her hands clasped to her breast recall images of women made during the Italian Renaissance, and imbue the portrait with a calm spirituality and lyricism. Here, as in other post-War portraits, Epstein rejected the smooth geometric forms of earlier heads in favour of a roughly-modelled surface, which broke up the light. Although some critics deplored this 'mud-pie' effect, others hailed Epstein as 'the greatest modeller since Rodin'.

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Sculpture UK

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Casting (process) : Bronze, cast and patinated

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.11-1931
Primary reference Number: 12312
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_11_1931
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 September 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 15 September 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Hélène" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-05-28 21:40:43

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{{cite web|url= |title=Hélène |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-05-28 21:40:43|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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