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Cecil Beaton: The Royal Portraits
  • ISBN: 9780500480922
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Binding: Hardback

Cecil Beaton: The Royal Portraits

Claudia Acott Williams

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Offering a fresh appraisal of Beaton’s portraits of the British royal family, Claudia Acott Williams explores not only the finished images but the sittings in which they were created, revealing the ways in which Beaton collaborated with his subjects, and his central role in shaping the public face of the House of Windsor.

Organised chronologically, from the 1930s to the 1970s, each of the book’s four chapters comprises an introductory essay, plates with extended captions, and one or two in-depth analyses of a particular sitting. Throughout, a variety of contextual material – contact sheets, test shots, out-takes, sketches, letters, journals, tear-sheets – helps build a detailed picture of Beaton’s working methods, the relationships he developed with his sitters, and how the eventual portraits were received.

Drawing on the Victoria and Albert Museum’s unparalleled collection of Beaton’s photographs, Cecil Beaton: The Royal Portraits will appeal not only to those interested in the photographer and his work, but also to anyone for whom the distinction between the private world and the public face of the royal family remains a source of fascination.

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