Meet world famous faces at Mottisfont

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Latest update 06.02.2014 16:32

Mottisfont launches its 2014 exhibition season with the largest ever display of portraits by celebrated Royal photographer Patrick Lichfield, featuring over 50 works created from the 1960s onwards.

Lichfield worked with many of the world’s most famous and glamorous faces, from royalty and fashion models to sporting legends and cinema stars. His informal, sometimes playful approach helped him to create portraits that offer a glimpse into worlds and personalities often hidden from public view.

Who will you meet?
A relaxed and happy Princess Margaret reclines on a sofa in her Caribbean bolt hole, whilst actor Dean Martin poses cross-legged on the floor nursing a drink. Brazilian footballer Pelé is captured in mid-air performing an acrobatic kick, whilst an unknown Australian called Nicole Kidman is photographed in Sydney: 'She looked like a gangly girl with cascades of red curls… She had a presence though – all the attributes, all the bones…'

From a brooding Oliver Reed to Princess Diana and her bridesmaids, from Mick and Bianca Jagger laughing in their wedding car to the Queen off-duty on the Royal yacht Brittania , this exhibition captures the extraordinary talent of one of Britain’s most successful and loved photographers.

How did it all begin for Lichfield?
Lord Lichfield first picked up a camera when he was seven, photographing his family and pets at their home, Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire. He took his first pictures of the Queen (his first cousin once removed) as a schoolboy at Harrow, during a cricket match against Eton. He started his career as a photographer’s assistant on £3 a week, learning his craft while making the most of his aristocratic and show business contacts. Lichfield became adept at finding ways to persuade his sitters to relax – he deliberately fell off his chair to get a smile out of the rather stiff and serious Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

'We’re thrilled to be holding such a major show of Lichfield’s portraits – it’s amazing to think that there has never been an exhibition before that just focused on his iconic photographs of famous faces,' said Louise Govier, Visitor Experience Manager and curator of Mottisfont’s gallery. 'This exhibition will be spectacular, as the work on show is entirely large format, stunning photographs. It’s like a ‘who’s who’ of the last fifty years, but as if each picture has been taken by a friend; someone who really knew how to get his celebrity subjects to relax and be themselves, or express something fresh and unexpected.'

Planning your visit
Lichfield: a Life through the Lens runs from 8 February to 21 April, 11am – 5pm, normal admission charge only. For further information click here or call 01794 340757