Samuel Beckett(1906-1989), Playwright
Samuel Barclay Beckett
Sitter in 42 portraits
Born in Dublin Beckett studied modern European Literature at Trinity College, Dublin (1923-1927). From 1932 he lived mainly in Paris becoming closely associated with James Joyce. His plays and novels, mostly written first in French, deliver a reductive view of human existence, and have been internationally influential. They include the novel trilogy Molloy (1951), Malone Dies (1951) and The Unnamable (1953), and the plays Waiting for Godot (premiered in Paris in 1953 and first staged in London in 1955), Endgame (1957), Krapp's Last Tape(1959), Happy Days (1961) and Not I(1973). Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
Subjects and themes
Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!
Black History Month
Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.
A Picture of Health
Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.