CECIL BEATON TRYPTICH PHOTOGRAPH OF MARILYN MONROE
A 1956 photograph of Marilyn Monroe Miller taken by society photographer Cecil Beaton.
In one of her most famous sittings, the actress is posed reclining, holding a rose. The photograph is signed on the mat Cecil Beaton and is accompanied by two page autograph letter signed from Beaton. He describes his fascination and perspective on his subject in detail, "Miss Marilyn Monroe calls to mind the bouquet of a fireworks display, eliciting from her awed spectators an open mouthed chorus of ohs and ahs... In her presence, you are startled, then disarmed, by her lack of inhibition. What might at first seem llike exhibitionism is yet counterbalanced by a wistful incertitude beneath the surface. If this star is an abandoned sprite, she touchingly looks to her audience for approval. She is strikingly like an overexcited child asked downstairs after tea. The initial shyness over, excitement has now gotten the better of her. She romps, she squeals with delight, she leaps onto the sofa. She puts a flower stem in her mouth, puffing on a daisy as though it were a cigarette. It is an artless, impromptu, high spirited, infectiously gay performance. It may end in tears. Equally impromptu is her general appearance. This canary blond nymph has been so sufficiently endowed by nature as to pay no attention to the way she looks. Her hair, her nails, her make-up, have a makeshift, spontaneous attractiveness. It is all very contemporary: Marilyn Monroe conjures up two straws in a single soda, juke-boxes, sheer nylons and drive- in movies for necking (does she not project a hynotized nymphomania?). This, then, is the wonder of the age - a dreaming somnabular, a composite of Alice in Wonderland, Trilby, or a Minsky artist. Perhaps she was born the post war day we had need of her. Certainly she has no knowledge of the past. Like Giraudoux's Ondine, she is only fifteen years old; and she will never die." Cecil Beaton, June 1956.
Encased in a silver tryptich, engraved on the center panel To Marilyn Monroe Miller Love Nedda and Joshua Logan. Gelatine silver print. 1956. Signed "Cecil Beaton" in red pencil on the mount.