Thursday, 13 December 2012

Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair, National Portrait Gallery, London

I went to the National Portrait Gallery in London initially to just see the Marilyn Monroe exhibition but stayed and took two and a half hours to have a walk around.

First the Marilyn exhibition - it doesn't include many photos but looks at her time filming and promoting The Prince and the Showgirl with Laurence Olivier.

It has some beautiful photos taken by Cecil Beaton,  Larry Burrows and Jack Cardiff. I also found out that one of my favourite photos of Marilyn on a Geshia print blanket holding a rose was taken by Beaton.

It just shows her natural beauty and it is free.

If you have never been to the gallery I cannot recommend it enough. I really enjoyed walking around the portraits. Paintings range from The Tudors to the Victorians to modern day.

It was great to see a sketch of Jane Austen drawn by her sister Cassandra Austen. I nearly missed it a couple of times but found it eventually and I'm glad I did.

There are so many recognisable paintings of Queen Elizabeth I, King Charles I and Queen Victoria. However, one of her after her coronation is actually a replica as the original is in Buckingham Palace.

At the moment they also have photos of the current Royal family taken by Mario Testino. It includes the two engagement photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - Prince William and Kate Middleton.

There are paintings of Paul McCartney, photos of the Queen after her wedding and her coronation again taken by Cecil Beaton. 

I also paid £2 and saw the exhibition from Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 which has some beautiful photographs including one of Mo Farah and one of Victoria Pendleton. Worth the £2.

I went round a couple of times soaking up every painting and photograph. It also had the film of David Beckham sleeping done by Sam Taylor-Wood...
A beautiful museum and on the whole free. Well worth it.

Also I had a cup of tea and the most delicious walnut and chocolate brownie in the cafe down stairs, amazing!

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