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Pauline Boty

1 of 32 portraits of Pauline Boty

© Pauline Boty Estate / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Pauline Boty

by Pauline Boty
stained glass, circa 1958
19 5/8 in. x 16 7/8 in. (500 mm x 430 mm) overall
Purchased, 2017
Primary Collection
NPG 7030

Sitterback to top

  • Pauline Boty (1938-1966), Artist and actress. Sitter in 32 portraits, Artist or producer of 1 portrait.

Artistback to top

  • Pauline Boty (1938-1966), Artist and actress. Artist or producer of 1 portrait, Sitter in 32 portraits.

This portraitback to top

A rare self-portrait in Boty’s oeuvre, this is a beautiful and assured portrait in stained glass, believed to date from 1958 when Boty was a student in the stained glass department at the Royal College of Art. There are conventional borders with floral motifs and quatrefoils. The work incorporates many of the creative techniques associated with the influential stained glass department of the Royal College of Art at that period, including layering, aciding of deep flashed layers, and expressive use of glass painting. The glass leading is experimental, with its eccentric use of arbitrary leads such as the piece cutting across the face of the figure.

Events of 1958back to top

Current affairs

Britain's first motorway is built. The Preston bypass (M6) was the first road to be built to official motorway standards, although the M1 (opened in 1959) was the first road to be given official status. The road was opened by the Prime minister, Harold Macmillan, and heralded a new age of mass, high-speed motoring.

Art and science

Michael Bond publishes A Bear Called Paddington, the first Paddington Bear book. This popular character is remembered for being found at Paddington Station by the Brown family, for wearing a floppy hat, duffle coat and Wellington boots, and for his penchant for marmalade sandwiches.
The children's television programme, Blue Peter, is broadcast for the first time.


Following the USSR's successful launch of the Sputnik 1 satellite in 1957, America launches its own space agency, NASA. Under pressure from the Soviets' early lead, NASA began research into human spaceflight. The competition between the two superpowers to explore outer space, send humans beyond the Earth's orbit and land on the moon was known as the 'space race'.

Tell us more back to top

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29 January 2020, 15:26

I only know what I read about Pauline (though our paths may literally have crossed in 1962 as my school was only 200yards from her flat in Addison Road :-) )....Stained Glass wasn't her first choice of college course, she was advised to be 'realistic' and select Stained Glass as the Painting courses were 'over-subscribed', so is the leading bar directly across her mouth in this beautiful self-portrait significant?

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