​opening today: audrey hepburn at the national portrait gallery

A major new exhibition presents a photographic history of the iconic actor’s life.

by Charlotte Gush
02 July 2015, 5:51pm

A major photography exhibition spotlighting the glamourous life of silver screen icon Audrey Hepburn opens today at the National Portrait Gallery. Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon is the very first UK exhibition to be organised with the support of the Audrey Hepburn Estate and Hepburn's sons Luca Dotti and Sean Hepburn Ferrer.

Audrey Hepburn on location in Africa for The Nun's Story by Leo Fuchs, 1958 ©Leo Fuchs

Audrey Hepburn by Bud Fraker, for 'Sabrina', Paramount Pictures, 1954 

'We are thrilled to be able to support this comprehensive and beautifully curated exhibition dedicated to our mother as it allows me and my brother Sean to grasp fragments of an otherwise unreachable past," says Luca Dotti, adding that, "The experience is all the more rewarding as the exhibition strives to go behind the scenes and give us rare insights into the making of Audrey Hepburn, from her London debut and her rise to stardom in the 50s and 60s, to the last season of her life."

Audrey Hepburn by Erwin Blumenfeld, 1952 ©The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld

Audrey Hepburn dressed in Givenchy with sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith by Douglas Kirkland, 1966 © Iconic Images/Douglas Kirkland

Although the exhibition collects some of the most iconic Hepburn portraits by famous photographers including Cecil Beaton and Norman Parkinson, it also presents images of Hepburn before she was famous, family snaps and behind-the-scene shots from early film sets.

Costume test for Sabrina, Paramount Pictures, 1953

Audrey Hepburn in Rome by Cecil Beaton, 1960 ©The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby's

Though she was born in Belgium, Hepburn moved to London to study ballet and made her stage debut in the West End, as well as some of her earliest films. "She would be honoured to have an exhibition dedicated to her at the National Portrait Gallery. And glad to be back home," Dotti enthuses.

Audrey Hepburn by Philippe Halsman for LIFE magazine, 1954 ©Philipe Halsman/Magnum Photos

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon, 2 July - 18 October 2015, National Portrait Gallery



Main image: Audrey Hepburn photographed wearing Givenchy by Norman Parkinson, 1955 © Norman Parkinson Ltd/Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive

audrey hepburn
National Portrait Gallery