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Sir Frederick Ashton (1904-1988), Founder-choreographer and Director of the Royal Ballet

Sitter in 29 portraits
Encouraged by Marie Rambert, Ashton created his first ballet A Tragedy of Fashion in 1926. He choreographed several pieces for the Vic-Wells Ballet before joining the Company in 1935. As resident choreographer, he worked with the young Fonteyn, who became his life-long muse. Among his greatest ballets are Symphonic Variations (1946), Scènes de Ballet (1948), La Fille mal gardée (1960), The Dream (1964), and A Month in the Country (1976). Knighted in 1962, he became director of the Company the following year. Ashton was made a Companion of Honour in 1970 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1977. His later ballets include Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan (1979, created for Lynn Seymour) and Rhapsody (1980).

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Sir Frederick Ashton

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print on white card mount, 1950
NPG P869(2)


Sir Frederick Ashton

by Bernard Lee ('Bern') Schwartz
dye transfer print, 15 April 1977
NPG P1138


Sir Frederick Ashton

by Arnold Newman
bromide print, 1978
NPG P150(2)


Sir Frederick Ashton

by Austin Bennett
bronze head, 1985
NPG 5866


Sir Frederick Ashton

by Robert Heindel
oil on canvas, 1985
NPG 6189


Sir Frederick Ashton

by Gordon Anthony
bromide print, 1930s
NPG x44759


Sir Frederick Ashton

by Gordon Anthony
vintage print, 1930s
NPG x137041


Sir Frederick Ashton

by Edward George W. Malindine, for Daily Herald
modern bromide print from original negative, 2 December 1936
NPG x131124


Sir Frederick Ashton

by Angus McBean
bromide print, 1941
NPG x15063


Eric John Crozier; Sir Frederick Ashton and John Piper

possibly by Edward Mandinian
bromide contact print, 1947
NPG x15215


Sir Frederick Ashton; Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev

by Michael Peto
modern bromide print from original negative, February 1962
NPG x138053


Martha Mlinaric; Sir Frederick Ashton; David Ball

by Angela Gorgas
modern bromide print from original negative, 1977
NPG x133023


Sir Frederick Ashton

by Lee Miller
modern archival-toned gelatin silver print from original negative, 1933
NPG P1074


Sir Frederick Ashton

by Lord Snowdon
gelatin silver print, 19 June 1979
NPG P1847


Benjamin Britten and Sir Frederick Ashton

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, 1947
NPG x15217