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W.H. Auden

2 of 43 portraits of W.H. Auden

W.H. Auden, by Cecil Beaton, 1930 - NPG P869(3) - © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London

© Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London

W.H. Auden

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print on white card mount, 1930
9 1/2 in. x 7 5/8 in. (240 mm x 195 mm)
Given by Cecil Beaton, 1968
Primary Collection
NPG P869(3)


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  • Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer. Artist associated with 1078 portraits, Sitter associated with 349 portraits.

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Whilst Auden was in Berlin he wrote 'Paid on Both Sides; a Charade', which T.S. Eliot accepted for the Criterion magazine. On his return to England in 1929, Auden resolved to accept his homosexuality and broke off his engagement. This portrait was the first of three sittings Auden gave to Beaton during his life, and coincides with Faber and Faber's publication of Auden's book, Poems. In 1930, Auden became a schoolmaster in Dunbartonshire and also began to write collaboratively with Christopher Isherwood.

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