Baba Beaton 1912-1973
Beaton’s sisters were his first models and they spent hours posing whilst he drew them and experimented with photographic techniques. His portraits of the pair were published in society magazines, helping to launch them into society. He described Baba as ‘the more genuine of the two…completely defined and decided, sensitive and intelligent’, but he saw himself in Nancy who was more outspoken. This particular photograph appeared in Beaton’s ‘Book of Beauty’ and ‘Photobiography’ with the title ‘Baba: a Symphony in Silver’.
Of Baba, he (Cecil) wrote ‘She is like a Giotto painting with her classical features and limp spun hair like a mediaeval page’s, and though she is diminutively proportioned, with small pointed breasts, her little figure is so elongated that, on her, materials fall in vertical folds like the flutings on a Grecian column’.