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Elizabeth David

44 of 1015 portraits matching these criteria:

- subject matching 'Eating and drinking'

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Elizabeth David

by John Stanton Ward
ink and wash, 1956
19 1/4 in. x 25 5/8 in. (487 mm x 650 mm)
Bequeathed by Elizabeth David, 1993
Primary Collection
NPG 6217

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • John Stanton Ward (1917-2007), Portrait painter, book illustrator and architectural draughtsman. Artist of 15 portraits, Sitter in 8 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This portrait of her in her kitchen at her home in London was drawn for Vogue.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • 100 Pioneering Women, p. 114 Read entry

    At her OBE award ceremony in 1976, asked by the Queen what she did, Elizabeth David (1913-92) responded: ‘Write cookery books, Ma’am.’ ‘How useful,’ came the reply. Indeed, it was – but, more than that, David’s impact was immense. She introduced Mediterranean cuisine, ingredients and techniques to post-war Britain and is credited with completely revitalising the country’s food scene. Her interest in cooking developed while studying in Paris and travelling during the Second World War. On returning to England in 1946, she began to write about cookery, and in 1949 was offered a column in Harper’s Bazaar. A Book of Mediterranean Food (1950) launched her career. Four similarly influential books came out in the following decade – on French country, French provincial, Italian and summer cooking. Her urbane style – which she dismissed as ‘my amateur’s efforts at writing’ – was refreshing and welcome, and despite post-war rationing, her success acknowledged the British, as she put it, as ‘more creative and enquiring about cooking than they have ever been before’.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 166

Placesback to top

Events of 1956back to top

Current affairs

The first supermarket opens in Britain. Inspired by the new innovation in America, Jack Cohen opened his first Tesco supermarket in Essex.
The First Clean Air Act is passed in response to the 'Pea Soup' smog over London.

Art and science

Pop Art is seen for the first time in the This is Tomorrow exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. The exhibition included Richard Hamilton's iconic collage: What is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?
John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger opens at the Royal Court Theatre, introducing the phrase 'Angry young man' to describe the new movement of gritty, post-war realism in literature.


The Suez Crisis rocked Eden's premiership and marked the decline of British world power and influence in favour of America. In 1956 President Nasser of Egypt nationalised the Suez canal. Although Britain and France, who had owned the canal since the 19th century, invaded Egypt, they were soon persuaded to withdraw by US President Eisenhower who disapproved of the occupation.

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