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Sir David Lean

(1908-1991), Film director

Sitter in 19 portraits
Film director. Born in Croydon, London, he began in the film industry as a clapperboard boy working his way up to become an editor of news programmes and fictional features. His early directorial successes included Brief Encounter (1946) and Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948). Later in his career he became identified particularly with big budget, strong narrative epics such as Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Dr Zhivago (1965), Ryan's Daughter (1970) and A Passage to India (1984).

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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David Lean, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(208)

David Lean

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1949 or before
NPG 4529(208)

David Lean, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(209)

David Lean

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1949 or before
NPG 4529(209)

David Lean, by Sir David Low - NPG 5769

David Lean

by Sir David Low
chalk, 1949 or before
NPG 5769

David Lean, by Angus McBean - NPG P900

David Lean

by Angus McBean
bromide print, circa 1961
NPG P900

David Lean, by David Gamble - NPG P633

David Lean

by David Gamble
toned bromide print, 1991
NPG P633

Sir David Low; David Lean, by George Courtney Ward - NPG x135638

Sir David Low; David Lean

by George Courtney Ward
vintage print, 1949
NPG x135638

David Lean; Richard Addinsell, by Unknown photographer - NPG x184153

David Lean; Richard Addinsell

by Unknown photographer
bromide press print, circa 1949
NPG x184153

David Lean, by Leslie H. Baker - NPG x194281

David Lean

by Leslie H. Baker
vintage print, 1960s
NPG x194281

David Lean and Sir John Mills on the set of 'Ryan's Daughter', by Unknown photographer - NPG x184048

David Lean and Sir John Mills on the set of 'Ryan's Daughter'

by Unknown photographer
bromide press print, June 1970
On display in Room 16 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG x184048

David Lean; Sarah Miles, by Ken Danvers - NPG x194282

David Lean; Sarah Miles

by Ken Danvers
vintage print, 1970
NPG x194282

David Lean, by Frank Connor - NPG x76157

David Lean

by Frank Connor
colour print, 1984
NPG x76157

David Lean, by Cornel Lucas - NPG x87112

David Lean

by Cornel Lucas
bromide fibre print, 1985
NPG x87112

David Lean, by Jill Kennington - NPG x77004

David Lean

by Jill Kennington
bromide fibre print, March 1987
NPG x77004

David Lean, by Jill Kennington - NPG x127154

David Lean

by Jill Kennington
bromide print, March 1987
NPG x127154

David Lean, after Sir David Low - NPG D43337

David Lean

after Sir David Low
halftone reproduction tear sheet, published 18 June 1949
NPG D43337

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