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W.H. Auden; Christopher Isherwood; Sir Stephen Harold Spender

13 of 43 portraits of W.H. Auden

W.H. Auden; Christopher Isherwood; Sir Stephen Harold Spender, by Howard Coster, 1937 - NPG x2948 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

W.H. Auden; Christopher Isherwood; Sir Stephen Harold Spender

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1937
Transferred from Central Office of Information, 1974
Photographs Collection
NPG x2948


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Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

  • Howard Coster (1885-1959), Photographer. Artist associated with 9342 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This group portrait, taken in Howard Coster's London studio, was one of fifteen poses showing Auden and his fellow writers Isherwood and Spender. Auden had known Isherwood since childhood and met Spender, who had published his first set of poems, at Oxford. At this time Auden and Isherwood were collaborating on several works, including the plays The Ascent of F6 and On the Frontier. Earlier in 1937, Auden had spent two months in Valencia working for the Spanish republic in the civil war. His experiences inspired the propagandist poem 'Spain':

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Pepper, Terence; Strong, Arthur, Howard Coster's Celebrity Portraits, 1985 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 28 June - 8 September 1985), p. 45