Vivien Leigh; Laurence Olivier

1 portrait matching 'vivien leigh'

© estate of James Abbe, Jr

2 Likes voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

Vivien Leigh; Laurence Olivier

by James Abbe Jr
toned vintage bromide print, 1939
11 5/8 in. x 9 1/2 in. (294 mm x 240 mm)
Given by Kathryn Abbe, 2001
Photographs Collection
NPG x88923

On display in Room 27 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

  • James Abbe Jr (1912-1999), Photographer; son of James Abbe. Artist or producer of 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

Leigh was in the middle of shooting scene retakes when Abbe Jr (the son of James Abbe) who worked as a fashion and portrait photographer for magazines in the late 1930/40s was commissioned to photograph her on set for the September 1939 issue of Ladies' Home Journal. This photograph was taken when Olivier came to meet her at the studio.

Related worksback to top

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1939back to top

Current affairs

Britain goes to war. The German invasion of Poland demonstrated that the policy of appeasement had failed. After refusing to meet Britain's ultimatum to withdraw troops, Britain and France declared war on Germany. The Second World War had begun.

Art and science

The Sutton Hoo burial ship is discovered. Apparently following a dream, Mrs Pretty invited the archaeologist Basil Brown to investigate a series of burial mounds on her estate on the banks of the river Deben in Suffolk. The excavation revealed an Anglo-Saxon burial, uncovering the most significant horde of early medieval artefacts found in Britain (now housed at the British Museum).


The Second World War begins. Germany's invasion of Poland prompted Britain and France to declare war forming the core of the Allied powers. As part of the Soviet-Nazi Pact, the Soviet Union joined the war on the German side, helping, with Italy, to form the Axis Powers. Poland was soon overpowered and the Baltic Republics and Finland were invaded by the Soviet Union.

Comments back to top

We are currently unable to accept new comments, but any past comments are available to read below.

If you need information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service . Please note that we cannot provide valuations. You can buy a print or greeting card of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at around £6 for unframed prints, £16 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Use this image button, or contact our Rights and Images service. We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.