Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

1 portrait of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, by John Deakin, 1952 - NPG P296 - John Deakin / Vogue © The Condé Nast Publications Ltd

John Deakin / Vogue © The Condé Nast Publications Ltd

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

by John Deakin
bromide print, 1952
11 7/8 in. x 10 1/4 in. (301 mm x 260 mm)
Purchased, 1985
Primary Collection
NPG P296

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Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • John Deakin (1912-1972), Photographer. Artist associated with 11 portraits, Sitter in 10 portraits.

This portraitback to top

John Deakin was a photographer who worked for Vogue during the early 1950s before he was fired because of his dissipated lifestyle. His life propping up the bar in the pubs and clubs of Soho enabled him, however, to take extraordinarily unflinching photographs of a wide group of artists, writers and other bohemians, including Francis Bacon, who used his photographs as the basis for paintings, Lucian Freud, Dylan Thomas and Louis MacNeice. This photograph of the sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi in his youth is characteristic of Deakin's work: full frontal and raw, it has been taken without using any tricks of the photographer's trade and instead relies on the relationship between photographer and sitter, creating an image of dark-eyed impassivity.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Freestone, Clare (appreciation) Wright, Karen (appreciation), Ida Kar Bohemian Photographer, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 March to 19 June 2011), p. 39
  • Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 263
  • Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 208
  • Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 208
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 479

Events of 1952back to top

Current affairs

King George VI is found dead in his bed in Sandringham; he had been suffering from lung cancer. His daughter Elizabeth, who was in Kenya at the time, became Queen, the only monarch not to know the precise moment of her accession as her father was alone when he died. Elizabeth was crowned the following year.

Art and science

Samuel Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot is performed for the first time in Paris. The play belongs to the Theatre of the Absurd style, which influenced playwrights such as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard.
Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap opens in London. It is still going.


Mau Mau rebels in Kenya rise up against the British colonial administration. The rebellion was sparked by the growing poverty of the native farmers under the rule of white settlers and called for Kenyan independence. The violence of the rebels, who often murdered settlers and loyalists, was met by the indiscriminate suppression by the British Military, who executed hundreds of suspects.

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