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Audrey Hepburn

1 of 53 portraits of Audrey Hepburn

© reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Audrey Hepburn

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, October 1950
19 1/2 in. x 15 in. (495 mm x 380 mm) uneven
Purchased, 2007
Primary Collection
NPG P1295

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Angus McBean (1904-1990), Photographer. Artist or producer associated with 283 portraits, Sitter in 79 portraits.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • 100 Photographs, 2018, p. 78 Read entry

    This photograph of the Belgian-born actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-93) was originally used as an advertisement for Crookes ‘lacto-calamine skin-cream’ in 1951. With its clever use of props and bizarre juxtapositions of scale, the portrait creates a fantastical tableau. Asked to find a ‘new face’, Angus McBean (1904-90) remembered Hepburn’s distinctive beauty from the previous year, when he had photographed the stars of the London theatrical-revue Sauce Tartare. The advertising campaign was hugely successful, appearing in fashion magazines such as Vogue and Tatler. Hepburn made her Broadway debut in the title role of Gigi in the same year. This led to her being cast opposite Gregory Peck in the film Roman Holiday (1953), for which she won an Oscar.

  • Edited by Rab MacGibbon and Tanya Bentley, Icons and Identities, 2021, p. 108
  • Terence Pepper; Helen Trompeteler, Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon, 2015 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 July - 18 October 2015), p. 23

Events of 1950back to top

Current affairs

Princess Anne is born at Clarence house, the only daughter of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

Art and science

C.S. Lewis publishes The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Lewis was an Oxford Don, specialising in Medieval Literature and its use of allegory. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is often seen as an allegory of the Christian struggle between good and evil.

International

Following the Soviet and American withdrawal from the occupation of North and South Korea respectively, the Korean War breaks out as each side seeks to unify Korea under its own political system. While the U.S.A., U.K and other UN nations came to the defence of South Korea, North Korea had support from the Soviet Union and China. The war continued until 1953.

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