The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

The World's Most Photographed

The World's Most Photographed cover The World's Most Photographed interior spread The World's Most Photographed interior spread

Out of print

The World's Most Photographed
Robin Muir

The World's Most Photographed explores the photographic imagery of ten figures from history. Photography is key to our perception of world leaders and international film stars alike, but this book demonstrates how well known or notorious figures - from Queen Victoria to Muhammad Ali - have manipulated the medium with lasting effect and, in the case of Adolf Hitler, with devastating impact.

Accompanying a major ten-part BBC TWO television series, The World's Most Photographed tells the stories of Queen Victoria, Mahatma Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Greta Garbo, John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali through the creation and manipulation of their image in photographs.

By unearthing pictures of these men and women which have previously been lost, suppressed or hidden, the book provides an in-depth exploration of how photography has been used throughout history in the pursuit of fame and power: how it has been controlled and managed in the creation of pin-ups such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley; how Mahatma Ghandi used it in a sophisticated way to create an image of simplicity and integrity which would help to undermine the British Empire; and how it was turned into a sinister tool of mass manipulation by Adolf Hitler as he launched his deadly assault on humanity.

Published to accompany a new ten-part series on BBC TWO and a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 6 July to 23 October 2005.

This product is supplied by the National Portrait Gallery Company Limited. For more information on the Company, click here. Every purchase supports the National Portrait Gallery.

Robin Muir is a curator and leading writer on photography and contemporary art for the Independent on Sunday in London, British Vogue and for the World of Interiors . He is the author of Unseen Vogue and Norman Parkinson: Portraits in Fashion , and former Picture Editor of Vogue and the Sunday Telegraph Magazine .


280 x 240mm, 200 pages
190 illustrations
ISBN 1 85514 353 4
Published price £25 - Hardback
Published July 2005

Click to browse all our in print books on Photography