1 of 21 portraits of Quentin Crisp
by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, 1941
17 1/8 in. x 13 1/2 in. (434 mm x 344 mm) sight
Artistback to top
- Angus McBean (1904-1990), Photographer. Artist associated with 271 portraits, Sitter in 79 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Pepper, Terence, Angus McBean Portraits, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 July to 22 October 2006), p. 55 Read entry
The professional artist's model described his photographic sitting with McBean in his book The Naked Civil Servant (1968): '... he took about a dozen pictures of me in three-quarters of an hour. ... Though it was something that he did every day of his life, Mr McBean longed to take photographs as fervently as I desired to be photographed. He worked very quickly and methodically, his instructions as clear as lenses. "Lick your lower lip and let it hang" and, the moment before the camera clicked, "Pull your ears back." When I asked him what portrait photography was all about he said, "It's simple. They want to be beautiful."’ Crisp also appears in a mirror reflection in Kurt Hutton’s photo-essay on McBean documenting how the notorious surreal portrait of Diana Churchill was taken for Picture Post. Crisp was in a close relationship with McBean during this period, and the two men's mothers were also social acquaintances in Brighton.