MARK HOLBORN    Book Number: 82539    Product format: Hardback

Born into a prosperous family in Hampstead, Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) was endowed with an artistic temperament and grew into a photographer and designer with a seemingly light-hearted approach to life and work. He had a genius for social life at a high level and was notorious for the diary that he kept. A ferociously hard worker, his view of humanity was both humane and complex and these qualities shine in his remarkable achievement as a portraitist. His contemporaries were Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. Decade by decade we see Beaton returning with fresh passion to the international aristocracy of talent in the arts, literature and film whose world he shared, revealing surprising deep affinities with his subjects such as Pablo Picasso, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn and Mick Jagger. He was fascinated with the English character in war and peace and a photographer of great vision and power. Here is the full gamut of his work from the playful 1920s, the glamour of the 30s, the cataclysm of the 40s, the reawakening of the 50s and the reinvention of the 60s, culminating with a reckoning with the significant people in his life in the 1970s. Annie Leibovitz contributes an appreciation of Beaton as a portrait photographer in addition to Mark Holborn's suggested Editor's Notes. A simple caption appears along the bottom of the page which is devoted to full size full page image, all in stunningly detailed monochrome. Here is Baba Beaton in a 1920s bathing suit on Sandwich beach, dressed as the Duchess of Malfi, 1926 in great finery or in a silver and brocade gown. There are several poses of Stephen Tennant posing in leopard skin on a rock looking very camp, or resting under a tree stroking his Saluki, cross dressing or wearing a leather coat. Edith Sitwell, 1926; Tallulah Bankhead and Nancy Cunard looking moody 1936. Montages and effects, around the world with one brilliant image of David Herbert, Jane Bowles and Truman Capote together in Tangier 1949, fashionable women, thoughtful men like John Gielgud and George Balanchine, Stravinsky and T. S. Eliot, posed and philosophical. Coco Chanel, Grace Kelly, Syrie and Somerset Maugham in 1958, Lucian Freud, Isak Dinesen in New York 1959, Lady Diana Cooper 1960 and Edith Sitwell on her 75th birthday, July 1962, wearing the black turban and huge dress rings in a portrait we all recognise. Page after page of images of many famous people including Jean Shrimpton in the style of Cheret, 1964. A big beautiful Abrams book measuring 30.5 x 32cm, 356pp, cloth bound, dust jacket and in secure mailing box.
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Published price: $100
Bibliophile price: £38.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9781419717833
Browse these categories as well: Art & Architecture, Best Of British

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