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Benjamin Britten

(1913-1976), Composer

(Edward) Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten

Sitter in 119 portraits
Artist of 5 portraits
Born in Lowestoft, Britten was taught by Frank Bridge and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in 1930. Britten emigrated to the USA in 1939 with his friend Peter Pears (who went on to become his partner) returning in 1942. Peter Grimes, the first of Britten's ten operas, was written for Pears, designed by Kenneth Green for the reopening of Sadler's Wells in 1945. Billy Budd (1951) was commissioned for the Festival of Britain and the War Requiem (1962) for the consecration of Coventry Cathedral. Lifelong partners, they started the Aldeburgh Festival in 1948, and in 1972 founded the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Benjamin Britten, by Sarah Fanny Hockey - NPG 5137

Benjamin Britten

by Sarah Fanny Hockey
watercolour, circa 1920
NPG 5137

Benjamin Britten, by Georg Ehrlich - NPG 5910

Benjamin Britten

by Georg Ehrlich
plaster cast for bronze head, 1951
NPG 5910

Benjamin Britten, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(62)

Benjamin Britten

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(62)

Benjamin Britten, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(58)

Benjamin Britten

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(58)

Benjamin Britten, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(59)

Benjamin Britten

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(59)

Benjamin Britten, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(60)

Benjamin Britten

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(60)

Benjamin Britten, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(61)

Benjamin Britten

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(61)

Benjamin Britten, by Yousuf Karsh - NPG P490(13)

Benjamin Britten

by Yousuf Karsh
bromide print, 1954
NPG P490(13)

Benjamin Britten, by Yousuf Karsh - NPG P490(14)

Benjamin Britten

by Yousuf Karsh
bromide print, 1954
NPG P490(14)

Benjamin Britten, by Unknown photographer - NPG x15174

Benjamin Britten

by Unknown photographer
snapshot print, January 1918
NPG x15174

Benjamin Britten, by Unknown photographer - NPG x15176

Benjamin Britten

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, 1921
NPG x15176

Benjamin Britten, by Unknown photographer - NPG x15178

Benjamin Britten

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, September 1923
NPG x15178

Benjamin Britten, by Frank Arthur Swaine - NPG x15185

Benjamin Britten

by Frank Arthur Swaine
bromide print, circa 1930
NPG x15185

Benjamin Britten, by Howard Coster - NPG x1633

Benjamin Britten

by Howard Coster
nitrate negative, 1930s
NPG x1633

Benjamin Britten, by (Edward) Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten - NPG x15186

Benjamin Britten

by (Edward) Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten
snapshot print, December 1934
NPG x15186

Benjamin Britten, by (Edward) Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten - NPG x15187

Benjamin Britten

by (Edward) Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten
snapshot print, December 1934
NPG x15187

Benjamin Britten, by Enid Thelma Slater (née Mace) - NPG x15188

Benjamin Britten

by Enid Thelma Slater (née Mace)
postcard print, 1935-1936
NPG x15188

Benjamin Britten, by Lennox Berkeley - NPG x15190

Benjamin Britten

by Lennox Berkeley
snapshot print, 1936
NPG x15190

Benjamin Britten, by Howard Coster - NPG x1751

Benjamin Britten

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1938
NPG x1751

Benjamin Britten, by Howard Coster - NPG x1752

Benjamin Britten

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1938
NPG x1752

Benjamin Britten, by Howard Coster - NPG x1749

Benjamin Britten

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1938
NPG x1749

Benjamin Britten, by Howard Coster - NPG x10469

Benjamin Britten

by Howard Coster
10 x 8 inch film negative, 1938
NPG x10469

Benjamin Britten, by Howard Coster - NPG x24302

Benjamin Britten

by Howard Coster
10 x 8 inch film negative, 1938
NPG x24302

Benjamin Britten; W.H. Auden, by Unknown photographer - NPG x15197

Benjamin Britten; W.H. Auden

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, 1941
NPG x15197

Benjamin Britten, by Lotte Jacobi - NPG x15199

Benjamin Britten

by Lotte Jacobi
bromide print, 29 December 1941
NPG x15199

Benjamin Britten, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x14036

Benjamin Britten

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print on white card mount, 1942
NPG x14036

Benjamin Britten, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x40034

Benjamin Britten

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 1942
NPG x40034

Benjamin Britten, by Enid Thelma Slater (née Mace) - NPG x15200

Benjamin Britten

by Enid Thelma Slater (née Mace)
bromide print, 1944
NPG x15200

Benjamin Britten, by Howard Coster - NPG x15309

Benjamin Britten

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1944
NPG x15309

Benjamin Britten, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x15204

Benjamin Britten

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 1945
NPG x15204

Benjamin Britten, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x15205

Benjamin Britten

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 1945
NPG x15205

Benjamin Britten, by Angus McBean - NPG x15202

Benjamin Britten

by Angus McBean
cream-toned bromide print, 1945
NPG x15202

Benjamin Britten, by Angus McBean - NPG x15203

Benjamin Britten

by Angus McBean
cream-toned bromide print, 1945
NPG x15203

Benjamin Britten; Eric John Crozier, by Maria Austria (Marie Karoline Oestreicher) - NPG x15207

Benjamin Britten; Eric John Crozier

by Maria Austria (Marie Karoline Oestreicher)
bromide print, 1946
NPG x15207

Benjamin Britten and Sir Frederick Ashton, by Unknown photographer - NPG x15217

Benjamin Britten and Sir Frederick Ashton

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, 1947
NPG x15217

Benjamin Britten, by Edward Mandinian - NPG x15210

Benjamin Britten

by Edward Mandinian
vintage print, 1947
NPG x15210

Benjamin Britten, by Edward Mandinian - NPG x15212

Benjamin Britten

by Edward Mandinian
contact print, 1947
NPG x15212

Benjamin Britten, by Edward Mandinian - NPG x15213

Benjamin Britten

by Edward Mandinian
contact print, 1947
NPG x15213

Benjamin Britten, by Edward Mandinian - NPG x15214

Benjamin Britten

by Edward Mandinian
contact print, 1947
NPG x15214

Peter Pears; Benjamin Britten, by Unknown photographer - NPG x15218

Peter Pears; Benjamin Britten

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, 1947
NPG x15218

Eric John Crozier; Benjamin Britten; Sir (William) Tyrone Guthrie, by Maria Austria (Marie Karoline Oestreicher) - NPG x15219

Eric John Crozier; Benjamin Britten; Sir (William) Tyrone Guthrie

by Maria Austria (Marie Karoline Oestreicher)
bromide print, 1948
NPG x15219

Category

Media

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