The Stardust Lens of Cecil Beaton

Cecil Beaton in Sandwich during the 1920s

Legendary portrait and fashion photographer Cecil Beaton was born on January 14, 1904, in the Hampstead area of London, England. With an eye for beauty, he also excelled at interior design, and was an Oscar-winning stage and costume designer, and a sparkling writer. Beaton captured stunning, intimate portraits of his subjects, many of whom were his friends.

Here’s a look at some of his most iconic photos, starting with his first submission to Vogue, a photo of the academic George “Dadie” Rylands. Much to Beaton’s surprise, the magazine published it. Later Beaton wrote “It was a slightly out-of-focus snapshot of [Rylands] as Webster’s Duchess of Malfi standing in the subaqueous light outside the men’s lavatory of the A.D.C. Theatre at Cambridge.”

George “Dadie” Rylands (1924) | Cecil Beaton
Fred & Adele Astaire (1930) | Cecil Beaton
Marlene Dietrich (1930) | Cecil Beaton
Truman Capote, 1948 | Cecil Beaton
Marilyn Monroe (1956) | Cecil Beaton
Maria Callas (1956) | Cecil Beaton
Elizabeth Taylor (1957) | Cecil Beaton
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