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Benjamin Britten

(1913-1976), Composer

(Edward) Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten

Sitter in 117 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

Peter Pears; Benjamin Britten, by Kenneth Green - NPG 5136

Peter Pears; Benjamin Britten

by Kenneth Green
oil on canvas, 1943
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5136

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

Elizabeth ('Beth') Britten; Benjamin Britten, by Claremont Photo Stores - NPG x15181

Elizabeth ('Beth') Britten; Benjamin Britten

by Claremont Photo Stores
postcard print, circa 1930
NPG x15181

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 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

Eric John Crozier; Benjamin Britten, by Edward Mandinian - NPG x15208

Eric John Crozier; Benjamin Britten

by Edward Mandinian
contact print, 1947
NPG x15208

Eric John Crozier; Benjamin Britten, by Edward Mandinian - NPG x15209

Eric John Crozier; Benjamin Britten

by Edward Mandinian
contact print, 1947
NPG x15209

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

E.M. Forster; Benjamin Britten, by Kurt Hutton (Kurt Hubschman) - NPG x15222

E.M. Forster; Benjamin Britten

by Kurt Hutton (Kurt Hubschman)
bromide print, 1949
NPG x15222

Benjamin Britten; Ronald Duncan; Peter Pears, by Kurt Hutton (Kurt Hubschman) - NPG x15221

Benjamin Britten; Ronald Duncan; Peter Pears

by Kurt Hutton (Kurt Hubschman)
bromide print, 1950
NPG x15221

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears, by Felicitas - NPG x15225

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears

by Felicitas
postcard print, 1950s
NPG x15225

E.M. Forster; Benjamin Britten; Eric John Crozier, by Kurt Hutton (Kurt Hubschman) - NPG x15223

E.M. Forster; Benjamin Britten; Eric John Crozier

by Kurt Hutton (Kurt Hubschman)
bromide print, 1950
NPG x15223

Sir Geraint Llewellyn Evans; Benjamin Britten, by Keystone Press Agency Ltd - NPG x139669

Sir Geraint Llewellyn Evans; Benjamin Britten

by Keystone Press Agency Ltd
bromide press print, 1953
NPG x139669

Benjamin Britten; Julius Katchen, by Fox Photos Ltd - NPG x15230

Benjamin Britten; Julius Katchen

by Fox Photos Ltd
bromide print, 1954
NPG x15230

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears, by Unknown photographer - NPG x15233

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears

by Unknown photographer
postcard print, December 1955
NPG x15233

Category

Media

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