Dame Barbara Hamilton Cartland(1901-2000), Novelist and playwright
Sitter in 14 portraits
Named 'top selling author in the world' in 1983. At her peak, Cartland produced twenty-three novels a year with a reputed readership of 400 million. She began her career as a gossip columnist for the Daily Express and published her first novel, a mystery called Jig-Saw in 1925. Later novels, which she dictated to a secretary, are romantic and escapist, with historical settings and virginal heroines. Cartland married twice and had three children. In old age, her television appearances, heavily made-up and wearing pink, left an indelible impression.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by Marcus Adams
gelatin silver print, 1930
by Topical Press
bromide press print, 15 June 1931
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.