Bill Brandt Portraits 7 May – 22 August 1982

Press Notice

Bill Brandt has for some time been recognised as one of the established masters of British photography. This exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is the first major retrospective devoted entirely to his portraits: from the earliest, taken while an assistant to Man Ray in Paris in the late 1920s, to the famous series of poets photographed for Lilliput and Picture Post in the war years. There are also examples of his later work, and many recent portraits which will be seen for the first time.

The sequence of approximately 100 portraits reveals the same qualities of formal inventiveness and imaginative insight as his scenes of social life and landscapes. Among his sitters are many of the most famous writers, artists, musicians and actors of the last 50 years, people for whom he feels a natural affinity, including Ezra Pound, Benjamin Britten, Graham Greene, Edith and Osbert Sitwell, Sir Alec Guinness, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon and Harold Pinter.

Handlist

(Please note: sitters’ biographical dates have been updated from the original hand list. Updated December 2012).

1. Ezra Pound (1885-1972), 1928, Paris
American poet, champion of the avant-garde
He encouraged Brandt to study with Man Ray.
x22461

2. William Empson (1906-1984),
1940, Bermondsey, London
Poet, critic and professor of English Literature
Published Lilliput, December 1941
x22422

3. Cecil Day-Lewis (1904-72),
1941
Poet and writer; associated with a group of left-wing thirties poets
Published Lilliput, December 1941
x22418

4. Alun Lewis (1915-44),
1941
An outstanding poet of the Second World War, killed in Burma
Published Lilliput, December 1941
x22443

5. Robert Graves (1895-1985),
1941, Graves’ cottage, Churston, Devon
Poet and writer; author of Goodbye to All That (1929), and I Claudius (1934).
Published Picture Post, 1941, and Lilliput, November 1949
x22425

6. Louis MacNeice (1907-1963),
1941, Highgate, London
Associated with a group of left-wing thirties poets. Also wrote radio plays and other works
A variant published Lilliput, December 1941
x22444

7.  J.B. Priestley (1894-1984),
1941, taken in the grounds of a Bournemouth hotel.
Prolific novelist, writer and broadcaster
Published Picture Post, 21 June 1941
x22462

8. Stephen Spender (1909-1995),
1941, taken in the office of the literary magazine Horizon, in London
Poet, critic and professor of English literature
Published Lilliput, December 1941
x22478

9. Dylan Thomas (1914-1953),
1941, Salisbury public house, London
Poet; famous for his rich use of language and complex imagery
Published Lilliput, December 1941
x22483

10. Sir Osbert Lancaster (1908-1986),
1942
Cartoonist, illustrator, designer and writer
Published Lilliput, March 1943, and Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., July 1945
x22438

11. Dylan and Caitlin Thomas,
1944, taken in their house in Manresa Road, Chelsea
Published Lilliput, August 1944
x22484

12. Cecil Beaton (1904-1980),
1945
Photographer, designer and writer
Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., October 1953
x22404

13. Pablo Casals (1876-1973),
1945, London
Violoncellist, composer and conductor
Published Harper’s Bazaar, October 1945
x22492

14. John Piper (1903-1992),
1945, Henley
Artist and designer
Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., July 1945, and Lilliput, June 1948
x22459

15. Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)
with her two brothers, 1945, Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire
Poet and personality
Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., October 1948
x22476

16. Edith and Osbert Sitwell (1892-1969),
1945, Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire, in front of a family group by J.S. Sargent
The poetess with her brother, author of verse, short stories, novels and a famous autobiography
Published Lilliput, November 1949
x22477

17. Graham Sutherland (1903-1980),
1945, Kent
Artist, one of the masters of modern British painting, designed tapestry for Coventry Cathedral
x22481

18. Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973),
1946, London
Novelist; author of The House in Paris and The Death of the Heart (both 1935) Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., April 1946, and Lilliput, November 1949
x22408

19. Benjamin Britten (1913-1976),
1946, Glyndebourne
Foremost modern British composer
Published Lilliput, September 1946
x22412

20. Norman Dougals (1868-1952),
1946
Novelist and essayist; author of South Wind (1917)
Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., July 1949, and Lilliput, November 1949
x22420

21. Constant Lambert (1905-1951),
1946, London
Composer, conductor and critic
Published Lilliput, September 1946
x22437

22. Henry Moore (1908-1986),
1946, taken in his studio at Much Hadham, Hertfordshire
The greatest living British sculptor and a pioneer of modern art
Published Lilliput, September 1946
x22447

23. Alan Rawsthorne (1905-1971),
c.1946, Bayswater, London
Composer
Published Lilliput, September 1946
x22466

24. Sir Michael Tippett (1905-1998),
1946, Oxted, Surrey
Composer, among his best-known works are A Child of Our Time (1944) and The Midsummer Marriage (1952)
Published Lilliput, September 1946
x45728

25. Jack Yeats (1871-1957),
1946, Dublin
Irish artist
Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y.
x22490

26. E.M. Forster (1879-1970),
1947, King’s College, Cambridge
Novelist
Published Harper’s Bazaar, July 1949, and Lilliput, November 1949
x22428

27. Celia Johnson (1908-1982),
1947
Actress
Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., February 1952
x22435

28. John (1913-1985) and Roy Boulting (1913-2001),
1948
Twins, two of the leading British film directors and producers
Published Lilliput, February 1949
x22407

29. Graham Greene (1904-1991),
1948, St James’s, London
One of the greatest living English novelists
Published Lilliput, November 1949, and Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., March 1950
x22429

30. Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979),
c. 1948
Painter, chiefly of landscapes
Published Lilliput, June 1948
x22431

31. Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett (1884-1969),
1949, taken in her London flat in Cornwall gardens
Novelist
Published Lilliput, November 1949
x22416

32. Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966),
1949
Novelist and writer, famous for his brilliant satirical novels of upper-class English society
Published Lilliput, November 1949
x22488

33. Kenneth Tynan (1927-1980),
1951
Writer, dramatist and critic
Literary consultant to the National Theatre
Contributed ‘profiles’ to Harper’s Bazaar, often accompanied by Brandt portraits
x22487

34. Sir Alec Guinness (1914-2000),
1952, Campden Hill, London
One of the great figures of British theatre Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y, April 1952
x22430

35. Dorothy Tutin (1931-2001),
1953, Wimbledon Common
Actress
x22486

36. Georges Braque (1882-1963),
1955, on the beach at Varengeville, Normandy
French artist; with Picasso, creator of Cubism
x22410

37. Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966),
1955, Vence, South of France
Artist and avant-garde designer
x22417

38. Ben Nicholson (1894-1982),
1956, St Ives, Cornwall
Artist, a pioneer of abstract art in Britain
x22451

39. Ben Nicholson,
1956
x22452

40. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973),
1956, ‘La Californie,’ Cannes.
The most famous modern artist, with Braque, creator of Cubism
x22456

41. A.J.P. Taylor (1906-1990),
1957, Oxford.
Historian and journalist, famous for his brilliant and controversial studies of modern history
x22482

42. Harold Pinter (1930-2008),
1961, Battersea, London
Actor, playwright and director
Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., March 1962
x22457

43. Jean Dubuffett (1901-1985),
1962, Col de Vence, South of France
French artist
x22421

44. Franco Zeffirelli (1923-),
1962, Ennismore Gardens, London
Opera, film and theatrical producer and designer
Published in Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., February 1963
x22491

45. Daisy Ashford (1883-1972),
1963
Author of The Young Visitors, a children’s classic, written when she was nine, but not published until 1919
x22401

46. Francis Bacon (1909-1992),
1963, Primrose Hill, London.
Artist, possibly the greatest living British painter
x22403

47. Peter Brook (1925-),
1963
Film and stage director
x22413

48. Laurie Lee (1914-1997),
1963
Poet and author of Cider with Rosie (1969)
Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., April 1964
x22442

49. Iris Murdoch (1919-1999),
1963, Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire
Novelist, philosopher and Oxford don
x22449

50. Donald Pleasence (1919- 1995),
1963
Actor
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51. Peter Sellers (1925-1980), 1963, taken on the film set of A Shot in the Dark, at Elstree
Actor, made his name on The Goon Show and went on to become a major film star and comedian
x22474

52. Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978),
1965, Piazza di Spagna, Rome
Italian artist, one of the masters of Surrealism
x22419

53. Alain Robbe-Grillet (1922-2008),
1965, Saint-Germain-des Prés, Paris
French novelist, leader of the post-modernist ‘nouveau roman’
x22471

54. Nicol Williamson (1938-2011),
1965, Kensington, London
Actor. Awarded Evening Standard Best Actor of the Year for Inadmissible Evidence, 1965, and Plaza Suite, 1969
x22489

55. Bill Brandt (1904-1983),
1965, East Sussex coast
Self-portrait with mirror
x22409

56. René Magritte (1898-1967),
1966, taken in his studio in Brussels, with his picture of ‘The Great War.’
Belgian artist, a leading exponent of Surrealism
x22445

57. Jonathan Miller (1934-),
1966
Actor, writer, and theatre and film director
Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., February 1967
x22446

58. Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990),
1966, Robertsbridge, Sussex
Writer, broadcaster and journalist
x22448

59. J.B. Priestley,
1969, Alveston, Warwickshire
x22463

60. Man Ray (1890-1976), 1970,
Vence, South of France.
Avant-garde photographer and artist, with whom Brandt worked
x22467

61. Glenda Jackson (1936-),
1971, Blackheath, London
Actress. Equally famous on stage and screen
x22434

62. Martin Amis (1949-),
1974, Campden Hill, London
Novelist and critic
x22400

63. John Le Carré (1931-),
1974, near Land’s End, Cornwall
(Pseudonym of David Cornwall)
Novelist. Famous for his novels of espionage and suspense.
x22441

64. Jacques-Henri Lartigue (1894-1986),
1974, Opio, South of France
French photographer and artist
x22439

65. Jean Rhys (1894-1979),
1975, Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon
Novelist and writer
x22468

66. V.S. Naipaul (1932-),
1976, South Kensington, London.
Novelist and writer. Best known for his novels set in the Caribbean.
x22450

67. Brassai (1899-1984),
1978, Èze, South of France.
(Pseudonym of Gyula Halasz)
Hungarian-born photographer, whose work much influenced Brandt
x22411

68. Robert Graves (1895-),
1978, Mallorca
x22426

69. Ted Hughes (1930-1998),
1978, near Exeter.
Poet and writer. Established his reputation with The Hawk in the Rain (1957)
x22433

70. Tom Stoppard (1937-),
1978
Playwright. Author of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1967)
x22479

71. Sir Alfred (A.J.) Ayer (1910-1989),
1980
Philosopher. Influential proponent of ‘Logical Positivism’.
x22402

72. Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984),
1980, Chelsea, London
Poet Laureate. A pioneer in the revival of interest in Victorian architecture, and other unfashionable subjects
x22406

73. Kenneth Clark, Lord Clark (1903-1983),
1980, Kent
Art historian. Author of many important studies on painting. Produced popular series on television, Civilization.
x22415

74. William Empson,
1980, Hampstead, London.
x22423

75. Michael Frayn (1933-),
1980, Blackheath, London
Novelist, playwright and journalist. His popular comedies are a feature of West End theatre.
x22424

76. Anthony Green (1939-),
1980
Artist. Noted for his naive-looking but ingenious figure compositions.
x22427

77. David Hockney (1937-),
1980, Kensington, London
Artist renowned for the high quality of his figure drawing and his adventurous sense of composition.
x22432

78. Sir Denys Lasdun (1914-2001),
1980
Architect of the National Theatre, and other prestigious modern buildings.
x22440

79. John Osborne (1929-1994),
1980
Playwright. One of the ‘Angry Young Men’. Author of Look Back in Anger (1956), and many other plays.
x22454

80. Edna O’Brien (1936-),
1980, in Chelsea, London
Novelist and writer. Draws much of her inspiration from Irish life.
x22453

81. Victor Pasmore (1908-1998),
1980, Blackheath, London
Artist, member of the ‘Euston Road School’. Later turned to pure abstraction.
x22455

82. Sir Victor (V.S.) Pritchett (1900-1997),
1980, London
Writer and critic. Best known for A Cab at the Door (1968)
x22464

83. Dame Marie Rambert (1888-1982),
1980, Campden Hill, London
Founder and director of the Ballet Rambert
x22465

84. Sir Ralph Richardson (1902-1983),
1980, London
Actor. One of the most eminent figures of the British theatre. He has also appeared in many films. 
x22469

85. Bridget Riley (1931-),
1980, London
Artist. From the 1960s has developed precisely patterned works which achieve retinal effect characteristic of Op Art.
x22470

86. Richard Rogers (1933-),
1980, London
Architect. Designer of the Beaubourg centre in Paris
x22472

87. Sir Roy Strong (1935-),
1980, taken at his home in Herefordshire
Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and an eminent historian
x22480

88. Phillip King (1934-),
1980, Campden Hill, London
Sculptor. Uses brightly coloured man-made materials for works that are consciously enigmatic.
x22436

89. Harold Pinter,
1981, Campden Hill, London
x22458

90. John Schlesinger (1926-2003),
1981, Kensington, London
Film director. Since the 1960s has directed numerous highly successful films.
x22493

91. Paul Scofield (1922-2008),
1981, Chiswick, London
Actor. One of the outstanding figures in the British theatre
x22473

92. Lynn Seymour (1939-),
1981, Chiswick, London
Ballerina
x22475

Prints of the catalogue numbers 1 to 92 were made under the photographer’s supervision especially for the exhibition. The following vintage prints date from the time when the photographs were taken.

93. Cecil day-Lewis, 1941
P189

94. Stephen Spender,
1941
P196

95. Sir Osbert Lancaster,
1942
P192

96. William Cosmo Gordon Lang (1864-1945),
1942, Canterbury Cathedral
Archbishop of Canterbury, 1928-1942
Published Picture Post, 24 January 1942

97. Kenneth Clark, Lord Clark, 1944
Published Harper’s Bazaar, December 1944
x22414

98. Lady Clark (1902/3-1976),
1944
Wife of art historian Lord Clark
Published Harper’s Bazaar, December 1944

99. Sir Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson, Lord Berners (1883-1950), c.1945
Musician, artist, writer and eccentric personality
Variant published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., December 1945
x22405

100. Lady Violet Bonham Carter, later Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury (1887-1969),
c.1945
Supporter of the Liberal Party and the League of Nations. A governor of the BBC. Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., July 1945
P185

101. Richard Crossman (1917-1974),
1945
Labour politician. A brilliant and controversial figure in British politics.
Published Harper’s Bazaar, September 1945
P189

102. Geoffrey Crowther, Lord Crowther (1907-72),
c.1945
Editor of The Economist, 1938-1956. Deputy Head of the Joint War Production Staff, 1942-1945.

103. T.S. Eliot (1888-1963), c.1945, taken in the offices of Faber & Faber, Bloomsbury, London.
Poet, playwright and critic
Published Harper’s Bazaar, July/August 1945
P190

106. Eric Hesketh Hubbard (1892-1957),
1945, taken in his Albany flat, London
Landscape and architectural painter and etcher
Published Harper’s Bazaar, July/August 1945

105. Augustus John (1878-1961), c.1945
Artist and bohemian personality
Variant published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., January 1946
P191

106. Beatrix Lehmann (1903-1979),
c.1945
Actress. Played many parts in the West End, and on television and radio.
P193

107. John Piper (1903-1992),
1945
Artist and designer
P194

108. Terence Rattigan (1911-1977),
1945, taken in his Albany flat, London
Playwright. Author of much-loved popular comedies, and more serious plays, like The Winslow Boy.
Published Harper’s Bazaar, May 1945
P195

109. Peter Ustinov (1921-2004),
c.1945
Actor, playwright and film director
Published Harper’s Bazaar, N.Y., July 1945
P197