By the internationally famous English 20th century fashion photographer, artist, interior/stage/costume designer, tastemaker, and socialite, CECIL BEATON (1904-1980), this is an original pencil drawing of a nude woman, the sheet measuring 12 1/4" by 9 5/8" (16 1/2" by 14 1/2" in contemporary simple light wood frame). The almost expressionistic drawing is unsigned but is estate stamped at lower right, showing its origin as from the estate of Miss Eileen Hose, Mr. Beaton's longtime secretary and assistant. Beaton remains in the 21st century an intriguing and much-discussed figure. He showed early artistic talent, as well as talent with a camera. After Cambridge, he moved to New York for a time to further his career and by the late 1920's was working for Vogue and Vanity Fair---Conde Nast Publications. His star continued to rise on both sides of the Atlantic. In the thirties he was photographing the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and other royalty including the mother of Queen Elizabeth and ultimately the young Elizabeth herself. During the war he photographed German bomb damage to London. After the war, he photographed Hollywood celebrities and took to Broadway as a stage designer, winning Tony awards. Ultimately he worked also on films, including Gigi and My Fair Lady. Notoriously bi-sexual, he had relationships with women as famous as Greta Garbo. As Beaton's health declined during the 1970's he became concerned for his financial well-being. Between 1977 and 1980 a number of auctions were held, his original art and photography thereby becoming available to the market. The present drawing traces its provenance to Eileen Hose. Condition is excellent, save for small edge discoloration from old tape and a tiny pinhole puncture at extreme sheet corner, totally hidden by any framing. Allow for reflections and a few scratches in the Plexiglas.
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