LONDON - This summer Christie’s is offering a selection of stunning photographs within our programme of Online-Only sales, to go live from 2 – 11 June. Depicting Hollywood icons from the ‘Golden Age’ until the present day, these works illustrate the famous faces of some of the most talented and glamorous actors of the 20th century. Comprising 70 lots with estimates ranging from £600 to £15,000, this is an opportunity not to be missed by admirers and discerning collectors.
GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD - WORKS FROM THE JOHN KOBAL FOUNDATION
Representing stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood is a group of works from the John Kobal Foundation. A pre- eminent film historian and collector of Hollywood Film photography, John Kobal is credited with rediscovering many of the great Hollywood studio photographers. Highlights from this collection include some of Lazlo Willinger's most recognised portraits among them that of Fred Astaire (estimate £1,500 – 2,500) and Robert Taylor and Vivien Leigh (estimate: £1,000-1,500).
THE MANY FACES OF MARILYN MONROE
Marilyn Monroe, the most enduring of all Hollywood icons, is represented in this sale at all stages in her career. These include photographs by Bernard of Hollywood, reputedly the first photographer to shoot her, through to Bert Stern who captured the last images of her for Vogue before her untimely death in 1962, (estimate: £10,000 – 15,000). Other highlights include the first ever centerfold produced for the first issue of Playboy (estimate: £2,000 -3,000). Ranging between £1,000 and £15,000, each image contributes to her legacy and serves as an iconic image in her story.
TERRY O’NEILL’S ICONIC PORTRAITS OF 60s AND 70s HOLLYWOOD
Terry O’Neill can boast one of the most impressive portfolios of celebrity portraiture. Known for capturing his subjects candidly, his images have reached a cult status to match that of their subjects. Christie's presents for the first time at auction unseen images of Brigitte Bardot, Raquel Welch, Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin alongside already iconic portraits of Faye Dunaway and Michael Caine.
Myra Breckinridge, the film for which the promotional image with Raquel Welch was shot, has been described as 'one of the worst films ever made'. If it attracted popular attention and survives as a cult favourite it is surely, first and foremost, for the powerful sex-appeal of lead actress, Raquel Welch. Her very considerable, era-defining allure transcended this intent and ultimately defined how the film was to be remembered. Photographed on the set by Terry O'Neill, this image is presented here for the first time at auction. (£5,000-7,000).
British actress Jane Birkin and French poet, singer, actor Serge Gainsbourg achieved a considerable notoriety with the release of their erotic single Je t’aime…moi non plus in 1969. Through their decade-long relationship, frequently in the public spotlight, they became one of the most emblematic couples of their era. The present lot illustrates their chic and free-spirited style (£2,500 – 3,500).
The contemporary section of the sale presents works by a stellar roll call of photographers of the late 20th century, namely Mark Seliger, Annie Lebovitz and Martin Scholler. As chief photographer at Rolling Stone for 15 years Mark Seliger has captured the images of scores of major faces from the entertainment and fashion worlds. His powerful, seductive, and elegant portraiture, as exemplified by the works illustrated left and right, has kept him in demand as a go-to-photographer for over 25 years, creating a catalogue of fame and glamour that will go down in photographic history alongside other great names in portraiture such as David Bailey, Annie Leibovitz, Terry O'Neill, and Irving Penn.
Annie Leibovitz began working for Rolling Stone in 1972 and her portraits quickly came to define to look of the magazine. Proclaiming that she 'doesn't like the word celebrity', she endeavored to capture the personality of her subjects in every photograph. The image of Demi Moore, illustrated right, is among her most famous covers for Vanity Fair. It drew a wide range of controversy and debate and yet remains one of the most highly regarded magazine covers of all time and a classic example of her work (estimate: £2,000-3,000).
Consistently voted the world’s sexiest actress, Angelina Jolie’s beauty is mesmerizing. The present work, Angelina Jolie with Blood, 2003 by Martin Scholler is a notable example of his Close-ups series (estimate: £8,000-12,000). These portraits, very tight, cropped to the head against a neutral ground, emphasise the subjects’ features and expressions, both studied and unstudied, allowing us to see them afresh in an inherently democratic fashion.