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Yevonde

(1893-1975), Photographer

Yevonde (Madame Yevonde) (Yevonde Middleton (née Cumbers))

Sitter in 15 portraits
Artist associated with 886 portraits
Yevonde, also known as 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 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.

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

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

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

To license and use images of 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.

Explore further:

Yevonde: Life and Colour exhibition webpage

Curator's introduction to the Yevonde: Life and Colour exhibition

The Yevonde colour archive

'Assisting Yevonde' blog post

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'Work in Progress',  - NPG 7145

'Work in Progress'

acrylic on paper collaged on panels, 2021-2022
On display in Room 33 on Floor 0 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 7145

Yevonde as Harlequin, by Yevonde - NPG x11823

Yevonde as Harlequin

by Yevonde
chlorobromide print on black paper mount, 1923
On display at The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NPG x11823

Yevonde, by Yevonde - NPG x131756

Yevonde

by Yevonde
modern gelatin silver print, circa 1935
On display at The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NPG x131756

Yevonde, by Yevonde - NPG x131757

Yevonde

by Yevonde
modern gelatin silver print, circa 1935
NPG x131757

Yevonde, by Yevonde - NPG x223773

Yevonde

by Yevonde
tri-colour separation negative, 1940
NPG x223773

Yevonde, by Yevonde - NPG x223772

Yevonde

by Yevonde
tri-colour separation negative, 1940
NPG x223772

Yevonde ('Junior and the Photographer'), by Yevonde - NPG x26030

Yevonde ('Junior and the Photographer')

by Yevonde
semi-matte bromide print on card mount, 5 December 1949
On display at The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NPG x26030

Yevonde, by Yevonde - NPG x17998

Yevonde

by Yevonde
bromide print on card mount, 1967
On display in Room 29 on Floor 1 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG x17998

Yevonde, by Yevonde - NPG x131758

Yevonde

by Yevonde
black and white reprint, 1968
NPG x131758

Yevonde, by Barbara Strachey (Hultin, later Halpern), and by  Yevonde - NPG x33564

Yevonde

by Barbara Strachey (Hultin, later Halpern), and by Yevonde
bromide print, early 1970s
On display at The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NPG x33564

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