The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

Mona Vivian

(1894-1971), Actress and revue star

(Annie) Mona Jessie Vivian

Sitter in 8 portraits

Tell us More

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

List Thumbnail

Mona Vivian, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x153961

Mona Vivian

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 4 April 1919
NPG x153961

Mona Vivian, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x84984

Mona Vivian

by Bassano Ltd
bromide print, 4 April 1919
NPG x84984

Mona Vivian, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x101332

Mona Vivian

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 April 1921
NPG x101332

Mona Vivian, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x101333

Mona Vivian

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 April 1921
NPG x101333

Mona Vivian, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x101334

Mona Vivian

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 April 1921
NPG x101334

Mona Vivian, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x101335

Mona Vivian

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 April 1921
NPG x101335

Mona Vivian, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x101336

Mona Vivian

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 April 1921
NPG x101336

Mona Vivian, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x101337

Mona Vivian

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 April 1921
NPG x101337

Place

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

Roger Toft

25 March 2019, 14:37

My father was the first cousin of Mona Vivian. Their mothers, respectively Margaret and Anne Griffith, were sisters. Their father, Joshua Griffith, was a wealthy coal-mine owner in Wales, but he went bankrupt after his cashier vanished to Australia after stealing £ 56,000 of his employer's money. Anne married a Roy Vivian, who abandoned his wife not long after she gave birth to Mona. Thrown back on her own resources, Anne was compelled to play the piano in pubs to support herself and Mona, then ( I guess ) below the age of 10. The little girl added spice to her mother's performance with a song and dance routine. Mona must have had talent, as she went on to become a star on the West End stage, especially in pantomime - when she often took the part of the principal boy. This displeased her mother's sister Gwendolen, who had married Sir Reginald Brade ( see Internet ) and who lived in court circles. A Guards' office proposed to Mona, but she unabashedly turned him down. Instead, she wedded the millionaire Hilton Crowther ( see Internet ) who was 15 years older. However, he made Mona give up her theatrical career. Did she get bored ? I don't know, but some years later they divorced. Hilton Crowther settled £ 1,000,000 on Mona, in the 1930s ! And she returned to the stage. When I saw her the first time, it was in 1947 and she was living with her mother Anne in Portman Square. I was too young to pay much attention to the conversation, and all the more so because Mona had TV and I had never seen it before. Ten years or so later, my parents again took me to see her, but I do not recall where it was : somewhere along the South Coast. She was then in her 60s, and plumpish, but sparkled and with her make-up looked as if she was due on stage any second. She was living with a younger and very masculine-looking Canadian woman, who I later learned tended most devotedly to her needs at the end of her life.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.

Visit From Your Armchair

Self-portrait as My Father from the series Encounter  by Silvia Rosi © Silvia Rosi

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

An online exhibition celebrating the very best in contemporary portrait photography.

Visit now

Hold Still

Hold Still

Explore our community photography project, which presents a personal record of the UK during lockdown.

Explore the exhibition

Margaret Thatcher by Spitting Images Productions Ltd painted plastic, 1985

Sculptures in 360°

See sculptures and fascinating objects from our Collection from all angles.

View the 360s

David Hockney: Drawing from Life

Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.

See the video