Rescued from the sculptor's studio after the blitz, this is the original plaster model for Frank Dobson's bronze Head of Osbert Sitwell which T E Lawrence described as the finest portrait bust of modern times.
Head of Osbert Sitwell by Frank Dobson, 1922
© National Portrait Gallery, London
- Plaster cast
- 36 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £15,000 ( Total: £40,000)
- Acquired in:
- Jason & Rhodes
This perceptive image of the 30-year old sitter has echoes of Brancusi and International Modernism and is a seminal work of portrait sculpture. Dobson's reputation reached its zenith in the 1920s when, still influenced by the pre-war cubist sculpture of Epstein and Gaudier-Brzeska, he gradually found his own personal style, incorporating the planes and masses of simplified natural forms and delighting in pure craftsmanship. Osbert Sitwell was a writer and polemicist and the prime mover in placing the Sitwells at the centre of the arts of the 1920s and 1930s as patrons, collectors, pioneers of style, and arbiters of taste.