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T.S. Eliot

7 of 66 portraits of T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print on white card mount, July 1956
9 3/8 in. x 9 5/8 in. (239 mm x 243 mm)
Given by Cecil Beaton, 1968
Primary Collection
NPG P869(12)

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  • Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer. Artist associated with 1087 portraits, Sitter associated with 350 portraits.

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Whilst studying at Cambridge University, Cecil Beaton had attended a talk given by Eliot but he did not photograph him until twenty years later. In his diaries, Beaton claimed that Eliot initially refused to be photographed because he was unsure which type of collar would be suitable: 'a soft one would look untidy and Bohemian, and yet he could not bring himself to be perpetuated in a starched one.' After consenting to the sitting Eliot later wrote to Beaton to praise the 'astonishingly successful effect' he had achieved. A variant pose from the sitting was included in Beaton's book, The Face of the World (1957).

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