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Head of a Woman with Closed Eyes: M.34-1982

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Head of a Woman with Closed Eyes
The Sleeper


Sculptor: Epstein, Jacob




Bronze, cast. Head of a woman, inclined slightly to the right side, eyes closed. Her hair is parted in the middle and drawn back over the top of her ears into a loose coil at the back of her head. On rectangular marble base.


History note: Purchased by the donor from Lady Epstein in January 1962.

Legal notes

Zoe Hadwin Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 6.4 cm
Depth: 9.4 cm
Height: 16.2 cm
Width: 3.8 cm
Width: 6.3 cm

Relative size of this object

6.3 cm16.2 cm9.4 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1982) by Pleister, E. M. Julia, Miss


Third quarter of 20th Century
Elizabeth II
Not before 1961-12-18 - Not after 1962-01-31


'The Sleeper', perhaps the model, Nan Condron

Miss Pleister's copy of her initial letter to Lady Epstein mentions a 'plasticine' exhibited at the Tate Gallery

See correspondence between Miss Pleister and Lady Epstein, various dates from December, 1961 - February, 1962 and a further letter of 4th September, 1970. In the last of these she states that the head 'must be one of the rarest Epstein bronzes as the original plasticine mould was given to me after my husband's death. I had three casts made in bronze of which one was yours & another I gave to a very ill boy...I must remember to tell you that the small head was modelled in 1911 & I call it The Sleeper.' In the letter of 7th February, 1962 Lady Epstein agrees with Miss Pleister 'P.S. You are right about the resemblance to 'The Dreamer'. The model was Nan of whom there is a bust in the Tate Gallery, also by my husband...'

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Sculpture UK

Components of the work

Head composed of bronze
Base composed of marble Height 6.2 cm
Bronze Height 10 cm

Techniques used in production

Casting (process) : Bronze, cast

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.34-1982
Primary reference Number: 13410
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_34_1982
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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Head of a Woman with Closed Eyes" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-11-30 11:47:04

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Head of a Woman with Closed Eyes |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-11-30 11:47:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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