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Cecil Beaton, (1904-1980)
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Cecil Beaton, (1904-1980)

Ascot Gavotte; set and costume design for 'My Fair Lady'

Details
Cecil Beaton, (1904-1980)
Ascot Gavotte; set and costume design for 'My Fair Lady'
signed 'BEATON' (lower left)
pencil and watercolour heightened with white, on buff paper
21½ x 31½ in. (54.5 x 80 cm.)
Provenance
with The Redfern Gallery, 1964.
Charles Harding, a gift from the artist, December 1965, and by bequest to the present owner.
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Lot Essay

After seeing the first theatre production of Pygmalion in 1913 Cecil Beaton spent much of his childhood creating imaginative designs for costumes and stage sets. In 1956 these designs provided the foundations for the costumes for Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's stage production of My Fair Lady that opened later that same year in New York. The Sunday Times stated in 1958 after the play had hit the West End in London, that Beaton's vividly dramatic black and white costumes had a 'luxury, elegance and beauty that largely contributed to its being the most successful musical play of the century'. Beaton's experience with the stage production and the world of fashion, combined with his knowledge of photography, confirmed him as the obvious choice for designer of both the sets and the costumes for the highly successful and much-loved film version (1964), for which Beaton won two Oscars for costume design and art direction.
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