Bengali Labourer, c. 1943
silver print on paper
25.3 x 24.3 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from an anonymous donor
Celebrated portrait photographer Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton was renowned during the 1920s and 1930s for his images of elegance, glamour, and style. Considered a groundbreaking fashion photographer for the techniques that he employed, Beaton was a major contributor to Vogue. His celebrity also stemmed from photographing some of the most famous film stars over the course of his career. During World War II, Beaton was commissioned by the British Ministry of Information as an official war photographer, and it was during this time that he travelled to India and recorded many memorable images, such as this work. This sensitive, almost overly romantic, approach to creating a picture characteristizes Beaton’s series of portaits of the working class in Bengal.