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A retrospective of a great photographer; lavish presentation,
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This review is from: Beaton in Vogue (Paperback)
Cecil Beaton was a man of many talents which included portraits of the famous in the fields of politics, theatre, film, music and even society and royalty. There was also fashion photography, theatrical and movie design (My Fair Lady was a major project in which he participated in several aspects of the movie; Gigi was another) as his main areas of work with spells as a war photographer during WW2 and as a travel photographer in his later life.
He started in the late 20's or early 30's and continued through to the 70's, during which a stroke affected his ability to work. He did continue, eventually having to work around his limitations but died within a few years. It was for his work in the studio that Beaton was best known and best remembered. This book from Thames and Hudson is intended to demonstrate Beaton's talents. The book is authored by a former Vogue staffer, the magazine where much of his fashion work appeared and which helps explain the title. Examples of his broader range of photography also appeared in other magazines and in the photography annuals which were once very popular. He was also featured in several retrospective exhibitions, exclusively or as one of several, both in respect of his photography and also his design work.
This book covers all areas of Beaton's photographic work plus a few selected essays on some of the personalities of this time or aspects of his work. The illustrations are many and the large, coffee-table-sized pages do them full justice. For a paperback, it may even be described as 'lavish'. Although the style of much of Beaton's work, which followed certain personal ideals, was mostly consistent across his working life many may see it today as rather 'old-fashioned' as it is very different than modern norms.
As good as the book is, and it is a reprint of a hard-back last published many years ago and which I then knew but never owned, the copy supplied had several damaged pages in the middle section and was returned for replacement. The copy later receieved was perfect.