Woman with Pigtail is a rare example of Jean Milne’s simplified and expressive sculptural vision. One of the few women to be part of the English direct carving revival – of which Eric Gill is the most well-known practitioner – she was also influenced by the clean geometrical lines of modernism, seen in the work of artists such as Constantin Brâncuși and Jacob Epstein. When Milne had her first solo-show at the Paterson Carfax Gallery in Old Bond Street in 1920, the critic of American Art News (Vol. 18, Issue 37) admired the sense of mystery in her work, and how she allowed simple lines and surfaces to speak for themselves: ‘Miss Milne belongs to the steadily increasing number of artists who carve directly onto the stoneitself, and thus avoid the pitfalls of undue ornamentation which come so easily to those who affect plaster modelling, leaving it to others to work out their ideas in the more difficult material. Hence there is a directness and simplicity which remind one at times of the archaic, at others of the ultra-modern Serbian masters”. Text by Sacha Llewellyn, 2022.