Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Portraits: You Are What Surrounds You

I am fascinated by photographs of people in their inner sanctums. I find them so revealing, offering as they do a tangible measure of what someone deems to be important, precious and soul-sustaining. 

This one of Dirk Bogarde is a favorite of mine. Although most of the world knew him strictly as an actor, he was also a prolific writer and artist. I love the postcards stuck on the wall and the shelf of well-thumbed books behind him, a palpable reminder that he was so much more than just a celluloid hero.

And here's Truman Capote, lolling in splendor, surrounded by a profusion of tchotchkes and a riotous mess of color and pattern. Fierce.

This photograph is of the poet Anne Sexton. Making a supporting appearance are the essentials in her day-to-day life: coffee, cigarettes, books and the ever-present typewriter.

Some sanctums are outer sanctums. Nancy Lancaster (1897-1994) brought her talents for interior design to the garden as well, advocating that "as long as there is enough green, anything goes with anything."

There's not much to say about this portrait of Colin Firth, except that Mr. Darcy is alive and well and living in a palazzo in Tuscany.

I vote that blogger Patricia Van Essche wins the award for Chicest Profile Picture. She's a consummate artist, mother and all-around Renaissance woman, as is readily apparent from the amazing photo below.

A couple of months ago, I took this portrait of my son when he was gripped by an obsession with Indiana Jones (note television screen). 
He's now switched his attention to Adam Lambert (on "American Idol"). Such are the fleeting passions of seven year old boys.

And there you have it. 


Simple Good Beautiful said...

*Sigh* Mr. Darcy makes my day, any day.

Thank you.

Taking Notes said...

Great photos, I've read one of Dirk Bogarde's autobiography but can't recall the title..?
Truman Capote - wow!
Anne Sexton - I wish I were that sexy and elegant.
Colin Firth - words fail me!!

Mrs. Blandings said...

I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy coming here.

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

I wonder if cigarettes really invite the Muse? interesting to look at the spaces that bring it on- this looks like an ongoing "serial" & good taste runs in the family. I for one love Indiana Jones! G

Anonymous said...

YES!! I vote for her as well...tre tre tre chic pve is!! But x-cuse me...what about YOU??
Anne Sexton = A Beauty!

Paul Pincus said...

fantastic image of dirk bogarde. amazing anne sexton!

of course i'm still in love with mr. darcy.

and patricia van essche is insanely gorgeous.

pve design said...

I feel so honored to be included. My friend who took this photo is truly gifted and we are planning to do another photo shoot, a modern day artist. My heart may be full of old soul but I am desiring a more crisp, cleaned up shot.
I shall e-mail you a larger photo.

Anonymous said...

Anne Sexton makes smoking look glamourous...before we all knew better. And since I love gardening, I'll have to Google Valerie.


Scot Meacham Wood said...

oh, don't mind me . . . I'm just loitering here for a few moments to stare at Colin Firth.


A Super Dilettante said...

Very interesting portraits. I've never seen this picture of Capote! As for the first picture of Dirk Bogarde, it was taken by Charlotte Rampling, my favourite actress of all time. I think it really captures the essence of Dirk. Have you seen the film "The Night Porter" and Visconti's "The Damned"? Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling are stunning together.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

A Super Dilettante: How interesting that the Bogarde photo was taken by Charlotte Rampling! She is an all-time style icon of mine. "The Damned" is insanely good, one of my favorite films.

Kickitupanotch: Check out "Garden People" by Valerie Finnis. Incredible photos of chic gardeners, from Vita Sackville West to Lady Rhoda Birley.

Ann said...

Love the picture of Capote, never seen it before, he seems so young, so calm, blending into the background, surrounded by colourful chaos.
Beautiful picture of Bogarde, his eyes are shining and genuinely happy.
Oh hush ma mouth, why its Mr Darcy, let me linger a little longer and gaze with fond adoration, okay maybe staring at he for an hour was a little excessive, so I shall depart.

Susan's Snippets said...


Ahhh, yes, those photos are so telling. Made me think I need a photo or two of myself with my touchstones all around. I usually am the photographer...not really liking to be the photo's subject.

most i reject

Anzu said...

Lovely post
Always a fan of Dirk Bogarde - sounded like he was a real gentleman.

Bart Boehlert said...

LOVE that picture of Colin Firth; I had cut it out of Vanity Fair and glued it into my scrapbook-
I think that is Truman Capote at home in Brooklyn Heights, have been by that house.

GloucesterMary said...

Hello! I love your blog! Love the pix of your home and travels!
Please make sure to properly credit the Truman Capote photo. It was taken by my father, Slim Aarons and is now part of the Hulton Getty Archive.
Many thanks!

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