Monday, 20 June 2011

Madame Yevonde's Goddesses in Ealing

Mrs Charles Sweeny (Margaret, Duchess of Argyll) as Helen of Troy

Currently showing at Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing is an exhibition of works from the innovative and renowned photographer, Madame Yevonde, and the modern photographer, Neeta Madahar.  I must get myself there...

The Hon. Mrs James Beck as Daphne

Madame Yevonde was active as a photographer between 1914 and 1975, specialising in portraiture.  At the beginning of the 1930s, she begun experimenting with colour which, at the time, was considered a bit of a fad.  She is now considered to be one of the pioneers of colour photography.

Mrs Richard Hart-Davis as Andromeda

In 1935, she photographed a number of society ladies dressed as ancient goddesses in her studio in Berkeley Square, London.  The images adorning this post are some of the results.

Miss Susan Bligh as Calypso

Mrs Longdon as Persephone

Lady Dorothy Warrender as Ceres

Mary, Viscountess Ratendone as Euterpe

Lady Milbanke as Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons

Mrs Richard Hart-Davis as Ariel

Mrs Edward Mayer as Medusa

The Hon. Mrs Bryan Guinness (Lady Diana Mosley) as Venus

Are they not just incredibly beautiful?!

Some of this collection is being displayed next to modern interpretations by Neeta Madahar.  There's less than two weeks left now until it closes (how time flies - or should I say "tempus fugit" if we're talking about ancient goddesses?) but hopefully I'll be able to make it and report back in a subsequent post.  

If anyone else in London makes it, let me know!  There's additional incentive in terms of the location too:

Everyone who has no chance of getting to the exhibition can still feast their eyes here, the source of all the photos I've reproduced in this post.  And then come back and tell me what your favourites are!  Which would you pick if given the chance to take an original print of just one to hang on your wall...?


  1. Wow her work looks amazing, wish I could go see it!

  2. Wonderful! The ladies must have really enjoyed posing for her too. How can a person choose! I think I will say three ... 102 Arethusa (love her floatiness, her seaweed hair and the fishes), 103 Medusa (dark, dangerous, powerful eye contact)and 113 Dido (classic, statuesque, blue!). All quite different.

  3. I'm very fond of Mrs. Richard. Some of these are surprisingly modern. Particularly some of the expressions. And the starkness is amazing- something I usually only associate with b&w.