Lot 302A View Catalog
Portrait of Mick Jagger painted for Cecil Beaton's Lefevre gallery
exhibition in 1966, entitled "The Singer". Signed by the artist. Original
gold leaf frame.
A record of the piece is held at National Portrait Gallery, London, who
are the custodians of the Beaton painting collection. (Vendor had a famous
boutique on the King's Road, London with an international celebrity clientele and acquired this piece privately in the late 1970s)
Measurements: Framed - 32" x 25.5" (81 x 65 cm), Unframed - 26" x 20" (65 x
Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), was a photographer, painter and writer and
was in love with the worlds of high society, theatre, and glamour. He had a>fully-fledged career as the foremost fashion and portrait photographer of his day, including his association with The British Royal Family.
Beaton worked as a staff photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue in London,
Paris and New York, in addition to photographing celebrities in Hollywood. He
also worked as a stage and film designer, including the musicals Gigi
(1958) and My Fair Lady (1965). Beaton's long and varied career and his ability to
attune himself to changing fashions enabled him to capture a diverse range
of subjects on camera, from the Sitwells to the Rolling Stones, from
Salvador Dalν to Francis Bacon, from Audrey Hepburn to Marilyn Monroe, The
Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth.
The painting and Beaton's Lefevre Gallery exhibition (27th January - 26th
February 1966) is well documented: "Don't let's talk about old people
looking young, but about young people looking old. It's so much more>interesting." The Lefevre Gallery was established on 26th April 1926 by Mr
Alex Reid and Monsieur Earnest Lefevre - two of the most eminent dealers in
Modern Art in the UK at the time. Alex Reid trained in Paris with Theo Van
Gough and lodged with Theo's brother Vincent. The Lefevre Gallery confirm
that the work was bought directly from the artist by the Gallery and was
sold by the Gallery on 9th February 1966. It is listed in the exhibition
catalogue. The exhibition featured works depicting several sixties'
personalities with whom Beaton was known to associate, including Picasso.
Jagger's friendship with Beaton is well documented as Beaton was intrigued
by The Rolling Stones and Jagger in particular. Hugo Vickers' 1985 Cecil
Beaton: The Authorised Biography (Part 8 - The Swinging Years 1965-70:
Chapter 36 - Growing Old, Staying Young) gives a most telling account: [ ]
Beaton and Jagger met at the Boudin Ball at Christie's. Cecil, dressed in a
white broad-lapelled coat, was heard to say, "I'd like to meet Mick Jagger.
Marvellous face. Reminds me of Nijinsky." [ ] Cecil went to Marrakesh [ ]
moved to the Mamounia Hotel. Suddenly, to his delight, three Rolling Stones
arrived, surrounded by their vast entourage of hangers-on, etc,[ ] [ ] Mick
Jagger was absorbed in his affair with Marianne Faithfull and had flown
from Paris. Keith Richard, Brian Jones and his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg had
driven together through Europe [ ] "I was fascinated by the thin concave
lines of his body, legs, arms, mouth almost too large, but he is beautiful
and ugly, feminine and masculine, a 'sport', a rare phenomenon." [ ] Cecil
hijacked him for a photographic session in the trees and midday sun, thus
affording him some much-needed shadows: "He was a Tarzan of Piero di
Lips of a fantastic roundness [ ] As a model he is a natural." Cecil and
Mick Jagger were natural friends, both keenly drawn to the lure of success
"This Beaton oil portrait echoes the colours of the psychedelic era and
artistic explosion of London's mid-'60s, with Beaton representing the
Establishment and Jagger representing Rock & Roll. Later, Sir Cecil Beaton
and Sir Mick Jagger."