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Madame Yevonde

(1893-1975), Photographer

Madame Yevonde (Yevonde Philone Middleton (née Cumbers))

Sitter in 8 portraits
Artist associated with 333 portraits
Madame Yevonde was a London-based photographer of portraits and still life throughout much of the twentieth century. She was a pioneer in photographic techniques, experimenting with solarisation and associated particularly with the Vivex colour process, which she utilised to great effect in the 1930s. ‘If we are going to have colour photographs, for heaven’s sake let’s have a riot of colour, none of your wishy washy hand tinted effects’ said Madame Yevonde in 1932 in an address to the Royal Photographic Society.

As an innovator committed to colour photography when it was not considered a serious medium, Yevonde’s work is significant in the history of British portrait photography. Her most renowned body of work is a series of women dressed as goddesses posed in surreal tableaux exhibited in 1935.

Explore the goddess tableaux

For research and Madame Yevonde Collection enquiries email: [email protected] or [email protected]

For access to Madame Yevonde’s daybooks and archive materials email: [email protected]

To license and use images of Madame Yevonde’s colour work please visit NPG Images or email [email protected]

To license and use images of Madame Yevonde’s black and white work please visit Mary Evans Picture Library or email [email protected]

Other repositories include the Royal Photographic Society Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Council Visual Arts Collection.

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