Princess Menen bronze with a brown patina 54 cm. (21 1/4 in.) high Conceived in 1948-49
PROVENANCE: Lady Epstein, from whom purchased by the present owners grandfather in February 1964 Private Collection, U.S.A.
EXHIBITED: London, The Leicester Galleries, 1950, no.7 (another cast)
LITERATURE: Richard Buckle, Jacob Epstein: Sculptor, Faber and Faber, London, 1963, p.331, no.513 (another cast ill.b&w) Evelyn Silber, The Sculpture of Epstein, Phaidon, Oxford, 1986, no.406 (another cast ill.b&w)
Princess Menen (of whom the sculptor made a second study with earrings) was the half-Belgian niece of the Empress of Abyssinia, along with Princess Desta, whom Epstein also sculpted. The pair were staying with their mother and a small nephew at the St Martin's Hotel when the artist modelled their heads. Their nephew would later become much celebrated in France as the pop singer Johnny Halliday.