David Bowie

1 portrait of David Bowie

David Bowie

by Brian Duffy
K3 Ultrachrome print on Fuji Baryte Gloss paper, 1973
7 3/4 in. x 7 3/4 in. (197 mm x 197 mm) image size
Purchased, 2013
Photographs Collection
NPG x137463

Click on the links below to find out more:

Share this

Sitterback to top

  • David Bowie (1947-2016), Singer, songwriter, performer and actor. Sitter in 17 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Brian Duffy (1936-2010), Photographer and film producer. Artist of 7 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This portrait by photographer Brian Duffy has become one of the most celebrated rock 'n' roll images of all time; a variant pose from the one used on the cover of Aladdin Sane, Bowie's 1973 album and his first UK No 1. The photo shoot took place at Duffy's Primrose Hill studio and it was the result of a collaborative process between Bowie and Duffy, assisted by stylist Celia Philo and make-up artist Pierre La Roche.

Linked publicationsback to top

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1973back to top

Current affairs

With the international oil crisis, and British coal miners 'working to rule' (a form of partial strike), Prime Minister Edward Heath implements the 'three day week' for industry in order to prolong fuel stocks.

Art and science

Pink Floyd release Dark Side of the Moon. The album opens with the sound of a heartbeat and instead of a set of individual songs, each track merges into the next to create a continuous piece of music. The LP was one of the most commercially successful albums of all time.


The Arab-Israeli conflict continues with the Yom Kippur War. Egypt and Syria invaded Israel followed shortly by Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The conflict lasted for just 18 days before a UN ceasefire was put into place. The events led to an increase in the price of Arab oil, causing economic problems in the West.

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.