by Christian Bérard
oil on canvas, 1937
28 3/4 in. x 39 3/8 in. (730 mm x 1000 mm)
Bequeathed by Sir Cecil Beaton, 1980
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Sitterback to top
- Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer. Sitter associated with 354 portraits, Artist associated with 1088 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Beaton is seen here in a startlingly modern portrait by the French theatre and film designer, with a further mysterious figure as a compositional device.
Events of 1937back to top
Current affairsGeorge VI becomes king. The younger brother of Edward VIII was crowned on the 12th May and the coronation was broadcast to Britain and the Empire on the radio. Edward becomes the Duke of Windsor, although the rank of 'Royal Highness' is not extended to Wallis Simpson.
Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister following Baldwin's retirement.
Art and scienceRoland Penrose organises a tour of Picasso's painting Guernica to the UK. The painting, which shows the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, went on display at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in East London.
A new synthetic fabric is invented and named after New York and London: Nylon.
InternationalCommercial airship travel is brought to an end with the 'Hindenberg Disaster'. The German airship exploded while landing in New Jersey. The radio broadcaster Herbert Morrison's reaction has become legendary: 'Oh, the humanity!'
Japan invades China, killing about 25,000. Japanese Troops committed numerous atrocities against soldiers and civilians in what became known as the 'Rape of Nanking'.
Exhibitions and displays
- A Century of Photography, 1840-1940
Until 29 October