Epstein rented a number of properties in Epping Forest, Essex, and was fascinated by the woodland scenery. This work was done during the summer of 1933, when Epstein indulged in a passion for painting, to the exclusion of almost all else - ‘I would go out with my daughter and we did not have to walk far before seeing something worth painting'. Working en plein air, Epstein used watercolours and gouache to work quickly to capture the changing light and appearance of the forest.
Sir Jacob Epstein
Original: Watercolour and gouache on paper 45.1 x 57.4 cm Tate. Presented through the Friends of the Tate Gallery, Helena and Kenneth Levy Bequest 1990 © The Estate of Sir Jacob Epstein
Jacob Epstein (1880 – 1959) was a sculptor, painter and illustrator. Born in New York to Polish-Jewish parents, Epstein studied art in both America and Paris before moving to London in 1905 and becoming a British citizen two years later. He was a founding member of the London Group, and an important figure in modernist sculpture, sculpting avant-garde monuments and portraits using direct carving techniques and taking inspiration from tribal and early folk art. He was knighted in 1954.