One hundred and five

Ezra Pound

1921 by Wyndham Lewis
Private Collection

It is no wonder that the outspoken Pound captured the imaginations of those surrounding him, inspiring many portraits from his many Modernists. It is no surprise then that these portraits are always filled with the passion of his character, simply as in the case of Gaudier-Brzeska (postcard one hundred and one), or more complex as here given by Lewis. His portrait appears as a complex construction of strength and movement, out-stretching lines and a cascading of geometrics. Dancing circles that twist in performance to form the bulk of Pound’s torso, delicate strokes of calligraphy that form the clenched hands; the Modernist movement is manipulated perfectly, drawing out the energy rushing through Pound’s body. Though amongst all this teeming force of nature, Lewis singles out features to illustrate Pound’s command; his face comes to an illustrious point, chiseled and inquisitive it looks to the side; the eyes, where such integrity would usually come from, barely visible; they are not needed. His right foot then perfectly balances this seat of power; lilting to the opposite side, it is a reflecting image of the face, over-sized in scale it ensures we recognise Pound: him and his stamp on the world.

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