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Cecil Beaton

(1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer

Sitter associated with 357 portraits
Artist associated with 1106 portraits
Cecil Beaton was one of the leading British photographers of the twentieth century. Beaton's early studio portraits of debutantes and celebrities often involved elaborate theatrical backdrops, and helped define the image of the 'Bright young thing'. Beaton was also an acclaimed designer for film and the stage, including My Fair Lady (1956), the musical based on George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion. He won three Oscars for costume and art direction for the film version of My Fair Lady (1965) and for Gigi (1958). A major retrospective of Beaton's portraits in 1968 was the first exhibition the National Portrait Gallery had devoted to a photographer.

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

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Quintin McGarel Hogg, 1st Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P869(16)

Quintin McGarel Hogg, 1st Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print on white card mount, 1945
NPG P869(16)

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1452

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
C-type colour print, 14 December 1948
NPG P1452

Princess Margaret, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P349

Princess Margaret

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 1950
NPG P349

Sir Frederick Ashton, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P869(2)

Sir Frederick Ashton

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print on white card mount, 1950
NPG P869(2)

Kathleen Ferrier, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P869(13)

Kathleen Ferrier

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print on white card mount, 1952
NPG P869(13)

The Queen with her Maids of Honour, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1454

The Queen with her Maids of Honour

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 2 June 1953
NPG P1454

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1455

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 2 June 1953
NPG P1455

Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1456

Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

by Cecil Beaton
C-type colour print, 2 June 1953
NPG P1456

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1457

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 2 June 1953
NPG P1457

Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1458

Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

by Cecil Beaton
C-type colour print, 2 June 1953
NPG P1458

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1459

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 2 June 1953
NPG P1459

Nell Dunn, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P869(11)

Nell Dunn

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print on white card mount, July 1954
NPG P869(11)

Ninette de Valois, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P869(9)

Ninette de Valois

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print on white card mount, November 1955
NPG P869(9)

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1460

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
C-type colour print, November 1955
NPG P1460

Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P1461

Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
C-type colour print, November 1955
NPG P1461

Media

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