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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

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

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency