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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
bromide print, 1930s
NPG x24831

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Cecil Beaton

by Marquis of Haddow
bromide textured print in a cream card mount, 1930
NPG x30314

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Cecil Beaton

by Harlip
bromide glossy print, 1930s
NPG x40526

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Cecil Beaton

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, 1936
NPG x40518

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Cecil Beaton

by Dorothy Wilding
half-plate film negative, 1937
NPG x35447

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Cecil Beaton

by George Platt Lynes
bromide print, 1938
NPG x40467

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Cecil Beaton

by Erwin Blumenfeld
bromide print, 1938
NPG x40435

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Cecil Beaton

by John Rawlings
bromide silver print, 14 September 1944
NPG x40471

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Cecil Beaton

by John Rawlings
bromide print, 14 September 1944
NPG x40472

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Cecil Beaton

by Francis Goodman
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 28 November 1945
NPG x39435

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Cecil Beaton

by Francis Goodman
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 28 November 1945
NPG x39436

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Cecil Beaton

by Francis Goodman
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 28 November 1945
NPG x39437

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Cecil Beaton

by Francis Goodman
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 28 November 1945
NPG x39438

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Cecil Beaton

by Francis Goodman
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 28 November 1945
NPG x39439

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Cecil Beaton

by Francis Goodman
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 28 November 1945
NPG x39440

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Cecil Beaton

by Bill Brandt
bromide print on card mount, 1945
NPG x22404

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Cecil Beaton; Dorian Leigh

by Irving Penn
bromide silver print, 1947
NPG x40470

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Cecil Beaton

by Irving Penn
glossy unglazed bromide silver print, 1951
NPG x40469

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Cecil Beaton

by Paul Tanqueray
quarter-plate film negative, 1952
NPG x180441

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Cecil Beaton

by Unknown photographer
bromide print, 1957
NPG x5785

Media

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