- Reinhold Misselbeck
(b London, Jan 14, 1904; d Broad Chalke, nr Salisbury, Jan 18, 1980).
English photographer and stage designer. He began taking photographs at an early age, mainly of his sisters Nancy and Baba. Beaton emulated pictures he saw in fashion magazines, especially those by Baron Adolphe de Meyer and the soft-focus technique used in them. In 1922 he went to Cambridge University to study history and architecture, but he left after three years without graduating. He took an office job, but he continued to photograph, receiving portrait commissions. Diaghilev’s praise of his photographs, particularly the double portrait of Nancy and Baba with Reflection (1924), encouraged him to set up a studio in his home in Sussex Gardens, London. Beaton created lavish decorations and painted his backgrounds himself. He encouraged his subjects to sit in striking poses. In his diary he noted: ‘Till now my pictures have been ordinary attempts to make people look as beautiful as possible, but these are fantastic and amusing’. The friendship and patronage of the ...