Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon



Publication Date: 2 July 2015
Price: £29.95
ISBN: 978 1 85514 497 2
Format: 280 x 230mm
Illustrations: 145 b/w with colour
Extent: 192 pages
Binding: Hardback
Category: Photography/Film
Word Count: Approx 20,000 words

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out of print

By Terence Pepper and Helen Trompeteler

An exploration of the iconography of Audrey Hepburn, one of the world’s most photographed people – an international film star whose image is as familiar now, two decades after her death, as it was during her lifetime.


During her lifetime, the Belgian-born British actress Audrey Hepburn (1929–93), star of such films as Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady, Charade and Two for the Road, was recognised around the world. Posthumously, her popularity has endured and her image continues to be reproduced in a variety of international cultural contexts.

Unlike other collections, in this new book the authors call attention to the circumstances in which pictures of Hepburn were published and consumed, thereby illuminating more generally our changing relationship with such images over the course of the twentieth century.

Hepburn’s career is charted through over 145 portraits and supporting images – from her early years in London as a student of ballet and a performer on the West End stage, to her Hollywood heyday and her final years as a special ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Alongside work by the photographers whose portraits defined Hepburn’s image and shaped her career are publicity photographs and images made on- and off-set during the production of her films, as well as family photographs and informal archive news pictures.

Possessing the features, height and poise of a model, Hepburn collaborated with a number of couturiers, notably Hubert de Givenchy. Her image often graced the pages and covers of fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, for which she wasphotographed by Richard Avedon, whose work is represented here together with portraits by Cecil Beaton, Antony Beauchamp, Philippe Halsman, Angus McBean, Norman Parkinson and Irving Penn.


Terence Pepper is Senior Special Advisor on Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and co-curator of the exhibition Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon. From 1978 to 2014 he was the Gallery’s Curator of Photographs. His past exhibitions include retrospectives on Norman Parkinson (1981), Lewis Morley (1989), Dorothy Wilding (1991), Horst P. Horst (2001), Cecil Beaton (2004) and Man Ray (2013). His publications include the award-winning Vanity Fair Portraits (2008), Beatles to Bowie (2009) and Hoppé Portraits (co-author, 2011).

Helen Trompeteler is Associate Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and co-curator of the exhibition Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon. Previously Assistant Curator of the Man Ray Portraits exhibition (2013), her past displays include those on Lord Snowdon (2014), Michael Peto (2013) and Fred Daniels (2012).