Women on a Balcony

Accession Number

Women on a Balcony

Sir Jacob Epstein

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
watercolor and graphite on paper

18 in. x 14 in. ( 45.72 cm x 35.56 cm )

Credit Line
Joseph F. McCrindle Collection

Subject matter
In this drawing the famous but controversial British sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein imagines a public spectacle of decadence. He pictures eight women who together project an aura of vigorous but inaccessible and imperious sexuality above a crowd of onlookers. The woman standing at the front of the group grasps the edge of the balcony and gazes upward. Her face is left uncolored, but her eyes are covered with a dark gray wash, giving her a marmoreal and frigid mien. Four of the other women stand rigidly behind her and appear psychologically distant, including the woman looming over the others at the back, whose yellow skin gives her the appearance of a golden idol. Several of the other women are given a more palpable erotic charge: the woman at the right edge of the balcony appears in profile and gazes alluringly downward, while on the left an entirely nude woman erotically engages with a woman wearing a headdress.

Physical Description
At least eight women crowd onto what appears to be a balcony. Most of the women are at least partially nude, and several wear headdresses and necklaces reminiscent of various types of ancient Eastern costume, including Assyrian and Egyptian. These accessories and several garments are rendered in bright yellow watercolor which constrasts with the blue tones that otherwise dominate the scene. Underneath the women, faint traces of pencil indicate a crowd beneath the balcony.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

drawing (image-making)
nudes (representations)
watercolors (paintings)
women (female humans)

3 Related Resources

Art of interest to Judaic Studies
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
PAST - Maize & Blue
(Part of: FFW Lower Level Study Cases     )

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved