Portraits of Vivien Leigh featuring Laurence Olivier by Cecil Beaton

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From 12 to 26 September Sotheby’s held a selling exhibition of photographs of legendary actress Vivien Leigh by acclaimed photographer Cecil Beaton, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of her death and the sale of The Vivien Leigh Collection on 26 September. Proceeds from the sale of prints will benefit The Old Vic as the theatre itself heads for an important anniversary, turning 200 in May 2018. Beaton and Leigh first became friends in Edinburgh when Leigh was starring in a George Bernard Shaw play. Beaton subsequently photographed Vivien on film sets and for many fashion shoots. Click ahead to see some of these stunning portraits which are still available to purchase through joanna.ling@sothebys.com.

Cecil Beaton: Portraits of Vivien Leigh featuring Laurence Olivier
London | 12 - 26 September

© Hugo Vickers 
© The Literary Executors of the Late Sir Cecil Beaton

Portraits of Vivien Leigh featuring Laurence Olivier by Cecil Beaton

  • Vivien Leigh, 1941
    Diana Vreeland, fashion editor and columnist:



    “Only England could have produced her… She was the perfect English rose… She had such an exquisite unreality about her.”

    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Vivien Leigh, 1941
    Alan Dent, theatre critic:



    “No beautiful woman has the right to be so clever, and no clever woman has the right to look so lovely.”

    View Exhibition




    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Vivien Leigh, British Embassy, Paris, 1947
    Colin Clark, British writer and film maker:



    “She had a mind which left most people behind. She understood – she was very knowledgeable about art, about furniture, about literature, about music, about opera. She was the most wonderful company.”

    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, British Embassy, Paris, 1947
    Cecil Beaton, photographer:



    “Vivien is almost incredibly lovely. Hollywood is at her feet. She is madly in love with her husband – who adores her… Her former husband dotes upon her & adores her still – she is unspoiled – has many loyal friends & only ambition to improve as an actress. The adulation of her beauty leaves her cold.”

    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Vivien Leigh in ‘Anna Karenina’, 1947
    David Dodimead, actor:



    “One of the astonishing things about Vivien was her energy, which is probably the secret of her life. Certainly the secret of acting. You can’t act without energy, even if you are acting a dull man, an old dying man.  You’ve got to have energy to push that out.  And she had energy from the moment she woke up till she went to bed – very late.”

    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Vivien Leigh in ‘The Doctor’s Dilemma’, 1941
    Peter Wyngarde, actor:



    “She had such intelligence, beauty and style.  She never left the stage-door unless impeccably dressed.  She was always amusing. And she was honest, totally and utterly honest.  She was a woman, and yet always somehow a child.”

    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Vivien Leigh in ‘Anna Karenina’, 1947
    Sally Anne Howes, English actress and singer:



    “She always made you feel that you were the most important person in her life. Apart from her great physical beauty, she was the kindest of friends with the most beautiful manners.  You don’t get that in the theatre today. You didn’t get it then.”

    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Vivien Leigh in ‘Anna Karenina’, 1947
    Lucinda Ballard Dietz, costume designer:



    ‘She had the kind of festiveness and longing to make everything an occasion that people usually have more when they’re quite young. I never thought of Vivien as a fabulous star. Vivien never acted as though she was.”

    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Vivien Leigh in ‘Caesar and Cleopatra’, 1944
    David Conville, actor and writer:



    “[Actor] Alan Webb said to me that if you found yourself naked with Vivien in the Sahara Desert with absolutely nothing, twenty-four hours later you would be coming out in a Rolls-Royce, covered in minks and drinking champagne.”

    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Laurence Olivier, British Embassy, Paris, 1947
    Sally Anne Howes, English actress and singer:



    “Every time she stepped onto the set the telephone would ring and it would be Larry checking she was all right.  Then at four he’d ring again to make sure she didn’t work any longer”



    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Laurence Olivier in “Romeo and Juliet”, 1935
    Sir Anthony Havelock-Allan, British film producer & screenwriter:



    “The reason the relationship succeeded so well professionally was because Larry helped Vivien in every way to realise her ambition to become an outstanding stage actress”



    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

  • Vivien Leigh in “The Doctor’s Dilemma”, 1947
    Peter Wyngarde, actor:



    “She was a star in the real meaning of the word, in that she spread light on everybody.  She gave a real endorsement of what stardom was about”



    View Exhibition



    Sizes available:



    14 x 11”
    20 x 16”
    24 x 20”
    40 x 30”



    Prices start at £3,000 and depend on size and edition number.
    Please contact Joanna.ling@sothebys.com for orders and enquiries.

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