Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

Menu

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Lady Natasha Johnston

1968
Cecil Beaton

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 35.3 cm x 35.3 cm, image: 35.3 cm x 35.3 cm)

Natasha Johnston (1914-1984) was born Nataliya Konstantinovna Bagration-Moukhranskya, Princess Natasha Bagration, in Crimea. She married Charles Hepburn Johnston in 1944 in London. Johnston entered the diplomatic service in 1936, serving in Cairo, Europe and the Foreign Office before becoming British Ambassador to Jordan from 1956 to 1959. After a stint as Governor of Aden and two years as Deputy Under-Secretary of State, Sir Charles came to Australia as British High Commissioner in 1965, serving until 1971. A poet himself, he published translations of poems by Pushkin and Lermontov, and Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. Together, he and Natasha translated Turgenev's Sportsman's Notebook. Johnston also wrote various books on aspects of his career, including Mo and Other Originals, an account of colourful personalities such as the Johnstons' Egyptian butler Mo, whom Beaton drew in Canberra.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Hugo Vickers 2005
© Estate of Cecil Beaton

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Cecil Beaton (age 64 in 1968)

Lady Natasha Johnston (age 54 in 1968)

Subject professions

Media and communications

Donated by

Hugo Vickers (1 portrait)

Related portraits

1. Lady Packer, 1968. All Cecil Beaton.

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Eileen Dunne in The Hospital for Sick Children, 1940
Eileen Dunne in The Hospital for Sick Children, 1940
Eileen Dunne in The Hospital for Sick Children, 1940
Eileen Dunne in The Hospital for Sick Children, 1940

The incomparable Beaton

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

To accompany the exhibition Cecil Beaton: Portraits, held at the NPG in 2005, this article is drawn from Hugo Vickers's authorised biography, Cecil Beaton (1985).

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency