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Cecil Beaton

(1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer

Sitter associated with 354 portraits
Artist associated with 1086 portraits
Cecil Beaton was one of the leading British photographers of the twentieth century. Beaton's early studio portraits of debutantes and celebrities often involved elaborate theatrical backdrops, and helped define the image of the 'Bright young thing'. Beaton was also an acclaimed designer for film and the stage, including My Fair Lady (1956), the musical based on George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion. He won three Oscars for costume and art direction for the film version of My Fair Lady (1965) and for Gigi (1958). A major retrospective of Beaton's portraits in 1968 was the first exhibition the National Portrait Gallery had devoted to a photographer.

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

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Cecil Beaton, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P219

Cecil Beaton

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 1927
NPG P219

Elisabeth Bergner, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1041

Elisabeth Bergner

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print on card mount, 1934
NPG P1041

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P869(10)

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print on white card mount, 1944
NPG P869(10)

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1454

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 2 June 1953
NPG P1454

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1457

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 2 June 1953
NPG P1457

Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1458

Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

by Cecil Beaton
C-type colour print, 2 June 1953
NPG P1458

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1469

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, November 1955
NPG P1469

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1472

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, November 1955
NPG P1472

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1476

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, November 1955
NPG P1476

Prince Andrew, Duke of York; Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1482

Prince Andrew, Duke of York; Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, March 1960
NPG P1482

William John Christopher Vassall, by Cecil Beaton - NPG 6552

William John Christopher Vassall

by Cecil Beaton
oil on canvas, 1966
On display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6552

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1489

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, October 1968
NPG P1489

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1491

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, October 1968
NPG P1491

Tilly Losch, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x133224

Tilly Losch

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print, 1920s
NPG x133224

Sybil Rachel Betty (née Sassoon), Marchioness of Cholmondeley, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x40053

Sybil Rachel Betty (née Sassoon), Marchioness of Cholmondeley

by Cecil Beaton
vintage contact print from 10 x 8 inch negative, 1920s
NPG x40053

(John) Beverley Nichols, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x14160

(John) Beverley Nichols

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print on white card mount, 1920s-1930s
NPG x14160

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x14199

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print on white card mount, 1920s
NPG x14199

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