Sir Jacob Epstein, 1880 - 1959


Sir Jacob Epstein 1880 - 1959


Head and shoulders of a nude young woman. Her head is turned slightly to the side, her eyes following in the same direction. She has long straight hair with a middle parting, which has been pulled back off her face and secured at the back of her head. Amina Peerbhoy (Sunita) and her sister Miriam Patel left their husbands and India to keep a stall of exotic artifacts at the Wembley International Exhibition which was where Epstein first met them. The sisters and Sunita's son, Enver, moved in with the Epsteins and from 1925 to 1933, Epstein modelled four portraits of Sunita. In his book 'Jacob Epstein' 1968, Richard Buckle wrote "Sunita was a tall woman with a huge head, and far from Madonna-like. She could find no food or drink fierce enough in taste, and used to put pepper in her whiskey". Sunita once disguised herself as an Indian prince and came with a retinue to a restaurant where Epstein was dining. He did not recognise her. Later, she fell in love with an illusionist and went on tour with him, Finally, she disappeared with the secretary of a maharajah to India and nothing more was heard until a report of her death.

Object Name


Creators Name

Sir Jacob Epstein

Date Created



Whole (approx): 55.9cm x 56cm

accession number


Place of creation




On Display

[G12] Manchester Art Gallery - Gallery 12 - TEMPORARILY CLOSED
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Gift of Mrs and Miss Rutherston, 1928


© Estate of Jacob Epstein/ Tate, London 2002.

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