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Cecil Beaton Paintings

British, 1904-1980

Cecil Beaton developed a distinctive style of photography where the subject was immersed in backgrounds made of unusual materials such as paper-mâché or aluminum foil. A socialite who rubbed elbows with royalty, celebrities and the wealthy aristocracy, the British photographer captured some of the most famous names of his time. 

Beaton was born in London in 1904 to a successful lumber merchant and amateur actor. He received his first camera as a gift at age 11. Beaton later attended St. John’s College in Cambridge and studied art, history and architecture. He dropped out in 1925 and went to work in the family lumber business, but his free time was spent absorbed in photography. 

Beaton befriended Sir Osbert Sitwell, who was captivated by his photographs and funded his first exhibition. It was an immediate sensation, leading to work with major magazines.

With a photography contract from Condé Nast, Beaton left for New York. By the end of the 1920s, he had worked as a staff photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue. He continued to cultivate his unique portraiture style and published his work in several books. One of his greatest achievements was a commission from the British Royal Family in 1939, a relationship which endured for decades. During World War II, he served as a wartime photographer in Africa and East Asia.

After the war, Beaton returned to private portrait commissions. He also began designing costumes and sets for theater and the silver screen, winning an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Gigi and awards for costume design and art direction for My Fair Lady. He also won costume design Tony awards for the Broadway shows Quadrille, My Fair Lady, Saratoga and Coco. 

Beaton designed the sets and costumes for a production of the opera Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and then at Covent Garden, London. His diaries, which were scrapbooks of his life and interests, have garnered wide interest, and several volumes of them have been published.

On 1stDibs, find Cecil Beaton’s photography, drawings and watercolors, paintings and more.

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Artist: Cecil Beaton
The Second Mrs Tanqueray Act III 1950 Haymarket Theatre Costume Watercolour by C
By Cecil Beaton
Located in Bristol, CT
Sir Arthur Wing Pinero's "The Second Mrs Tanqueray" Act III, signed Beaton (MR) from the Haymarket Theatre, London 1950 stage production. Provenance: Palm Beach Galleries...
Category

20th Century Other Art Style Cecil Beaton Paintings

Materials

Paper, Watercolor

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Cecil Beaton paintings for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Cecil Beaton paintings available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Cecil Beaton in paint, paper, watercolor and more. Not every interior allows for large Cecil Beaton paintings, so small editions measuring 21 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of William Lee Hankey, Max Todd, and Martin Yeoman. Cecil Beaton paintings prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $7,500 and tops out at $7,500, while the average work can sell for $7,500.
Questions About Cecil Beaton Paintings
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    When he was young, Cecil Beaton became enamored by the portraits of high-society women and actresses in the newspapers. At age 11, his nurse taught him how to use a camera and develop film. You can shop a selection of Cecil Beaton’s pieces from some of the world’s top art dealers on 1stDibs.

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