World Famous Portraits of 20th Century’s Greatest Poets for Sale at Bonhams
LONDON.- Portraits of some of finest 20th century poets in the English language are at the heart of the Roy Davids collection of Papers and Portraits at Bonhams on 29 March.
Roy Davids, himself a poet inspired to write by his close friendship with Ted Hughes, has assembled a collection of stunning portraits of the biggest names in literature from Auden to Eliot, Frost to Graves, Larkin to Heaney and naturally, Hughes.
The fine and characteristic photograph of Hughes which graces the front cover of the sale catalogue was taken by Noel Chanan in 1983 and is estimated at £1,500-1,800.
A photograph of Eliot and Auden deep in conversation at a Faber drinks party in 1960 immortalises one of the very few occasions on which these two literary giants met – apparently only the second time since 1928.
Taken by Mark Gerson the photograph is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery and is estimated at £1,000-1,500.
It was the same party that Ted Hughes met Auden for this first time and a group photograph of the Faber poets – one of the best known literary portraits of the second half of the 20th century – is also in the sale. Also taken by Mark Gerson it has an estimate of £3,000-4,000.
The photograph of Robert Frost was taken when the poet was 75 by the renowned portraitist Karsh who clearly obeyed the poet’s instruction, “Don’t make me a saint. I’m a rascal.”
The sale also includes images of, among others, Robert Graves, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Hardy, Philip Larkin, W B Yeats, Ezra Pound and Siegfried Sassoon – a roll call of modern greats.