Sir Jacob Epstein 1880 – 1959 was an American-born sculptor who worked chiefly in the UK, where he pioneered modern sculpture, often producing controversial works that challenged taboos concerning what public artworks appropriately depict. Epstein involved himself with a bohemian and artistic crowd. Revolting against ornate, pretty art, he made bold, often harsh and massive forms of bronze or stone. His sculpture is distinguished by its vigorous rough-hewn realism. Brilliantly avant-garde in concept and style, his works often shocked the general public. He often used expressively distorted figures, drawing more on non-Western art than the classical ideal. Such factors may have focused disproportionate attention on certain aspects of Epstein's long and productive career, throughout which he aroused hostility, especially challenging taboos surrounding the depiction of sexuality. Works condemned in his time as obscene and disgraceful today communicate thought and understanding.