John Deakin

(1912—1972) photographer

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(1912–72), British photographer of the 1950s and 1960s. He started photography in 1939, and for four years in the 1950s worked for Vogue, not only producing more work than his contemporaries on the magazine, but photographing everything from fashion and beauty to the social scene. However, his main strength lay in portraiture: sharp, unretouched, incisive images truthful (as some said) to the point of cruelty. The pubs and clubs of Soho, London, and the friends he met there, were also his subjects, and his undoing. Drinking led to his being sacked from Vogue at least twice. Eventually he produced and sold work from trips abroad. His close friend, the painter Francis Bacon, who continued to support him until his death with photographic commissions, said, ‘his portraits for me are the best since Nadar and Julia Margaret Cameron’.

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

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