Now and Then: Photographs by John Swannell
Past display archive
19 April 2011 - 2 January 2012
Sir Roy Strong: An Elizabethan Reverie
by John Swannell
This display consists of recently acquired works ranging from twenty-first century portraits of Tony Blair, Susan Boyle and Sir Roy Strong; to portraits from the 1980s of subjects such as Iman, Phil Lynott and George Michael. Swannell (b.1946) is also known for his official portraits of the royal family, here represented by Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and for his fashion work, reflected by his portraits of Victoria Beckham and Sienna Miller.
After leaving school at sixteen, John Swannell first worked at Vogue Studios, assisting photographers such as Cecil Beaton. He worked for David Bailey from 1969–73, on projects including Bailey’s book, Goodbye Baby and Amen (1969), before establishing his own studio.
John Swannell’s work was first exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in the group exhibition Twenty for Today: New Portrait Photography (1985) and a solo exhibition of his work, Twenty Years On, was staged at the Gallery in 1997. The Gallery first began to acquire Swannell’s work in 1983, and now holds over 100 of his portraits covering the years 1970–2010. The Gallery’s full holdings of John Swannell’s work can be viewed on the Portrait Explorer in the IT Gallery of the National Portrait Gallery.
John Swannell’s numerous books include Fine Lines (1982), Twenty Years On (1996), I’m Still Standing (2002) and Nudes 1978–2006 (2006).
Past Photographic Exhibitions featuring John Swannell
© National Portrait Gallery, London
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- John Swannell; David Bailey (NPG x134776)
- Photographers at Cap D'Antibes (NPG x134401)
- Philip ('Phil') Lynott (NPG x134777)
- Iman (NPG x134781)
- George Michael (NPG x134779)
- Jeremy Paxman (NPG x134396)
- Betty Jackson (NPG x134397)
- Victoria Beckham (NPG x134782)
- Paul McCartney (NPG x134778)
- Sienna Miller (NPG x134780)
- Christopher Nolan (NPG x134402)
- Tony Blair (NPG x134394)
- Susan Boyle (NPG x134398)
- Sir Roy Strong: An Elizabethan Reverie (NPG x134403)
- Princess Anne (NPG x134405)
- Bill Nighy (NPG x134775)
- Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid
- Princess Anne
- David Bailey
- Victoria Beckham (née Adams)
- Anthony Charles Lynton ('Tony') Blair
- Susan Boyle
- Brian Duffy
- Betty Jackson
- Jacques-Henri Lartigue
- Philip ('Phil') Lynott
- Sir (James) Paul McCartney
- Sir Donald ('Don') McCullin
- George Michael (Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou)
- Sienna Rose Miller
- Helmut Newton
- William Francis ('Bill') Nighy
- Christopher Nolan
- Jeremy Dickson Paxman
- Alice Springs (June Newton)
- Sir Roy Strong
- John Swannell