Oscar Wilde’s tomb by Jacob Epstein

Joe Blogs

It was good to see recently that the wonderful “Modernist Angel” sculpture by Jacob Epstein for Oscar Wilde’s tomb has been cleaned and restored to its former glory…

The monument was originally commissioned in 1909 by Wilde’s lover and possibly closest friend Robbie Ross, for Wilde’s second resting place at Père Lachaise Cemetery in the city of Paris, his first being the Cimetière de Bagneux outside Paris where Wilde “rested” for only 9 years. The commission was a very important one for the 29 year old American sculptor, who had been in London for only a few years and was still suffering the backlash from his work on Charles Holden’s British Medical Association the year before.

Once again however, Epstein fell foul of the Authorities as the work was condemned as being indecent due to its prominent male genitalia, apparently resulting in it being hidden from public view by a tarpaulin…

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