Sculptor’s lost masterpiece reclaimed
The renowned sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger has had his lost masterpiece St Michael and the Devil properly attributed to him.
The stunning sculpture of the angel hovering over the defeated devil hangs by the entrance to Coventry Cathedral. The Minister of Culture, Bernard Simms, announced that research has shown that this was one of the final works of Jagger’s Incognito Period.
Jagger was famed for his striking realistic military memorials and was reported to have died in 1934 from complications from his war wounds. A war hero as well as artist Jaggers wounded three times in the first world war and awarded the military cross for gallantry. Research has shown that, in fact, he assumed a new identity in 1934 and worked anonymously until his death in 1959.
The work attributed to Jacob Epstein, the supposed artist, has now been shown to have been Jagger’s. Documents show that Epstein, an American Jewish businessman, and Jagger struck a deal when Jagger lost at cards. Epstein wrote off the debt in exchange for having Jagger’s work attributed to him.
Art Historian, Prof Reginald Havers, responsible for the research and re-attribution, believes that the anguished face of St. Michael defeating the Devil is Jagger’s, and that the vanquished devil’s is Epstein’s.
Epstein profited from Jagger’s work and maintained the shell-shocked sculptor in a small house in Worcestershire.