GREENE, GRAHAM (1904-1991, novelist, O.M.) PORTRAIT BY YOUSUF KARSH (1908-2002),
Lot 60
GREENE, GRAHAM (1904-1991, novelist, O.M.) PORTRAIT BY YOUSUF KARSH (1908-2002),
Sold for £20,400 (US$ 34,253) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
GREENE, GRAHAM (1904-1991, novelist, O.M.)
photograph, silver print, three-quarter length, signed and inscribed by Greene to Gillian Sutro. ('The Third Man - for Gillian with love from Graham') and signed beneath the image by Karsh, and with his copyright stamp on the verso, extremely fine impression, 10 x 7 in (25.4 x 17.8 cm).


  • The recipient of this famous image was Gillian Sutro (1917-1999), whom Harold Acton described as having the 'natural grace of a Persian cat'. A fashion journalist she was married to John Sutro (1903-1987). Nancy Mitford called her 'one of the ten best dressed women in England.' Sutro was a backer of the filmmaker Alexander Korda and founded Ortus Films. With Cecil Beaton he wrote Heil Cinderella and produced the 49th Parallel starring Olivier and Leslie Howard. Their circle included the Waughs, Oliviers, Rattigans, Koestlers, Christopher Sykes, John Sparrow, Cocteau and Kokoschka.

    The Sutros were introduced to Greene in the 1950s and became lifelong friends. Sutro and Greene founded the Anglo-Texan Society in response to a chance meeting with two Texan girls on a train. A spoof letter in the Times suggested that a society should be formed to promote Anglo-Texan relations which resulted in a meeting on Texas Independence Day 1954 at the Denham Studios where 1,500 guests tackled 2,800 pounds of beef, courtesy of the Houston Fat Stock Show. Another joint venture was the establishment of the John Gordon Society against Pornography. Greene is said to have been particularly enamoured of Gillian Sutro's shepherd's pie.

    Greene published The Third Man , in 1950, the year after the film for which he wrote the script, starring Orson Welles. Karsh’s portrait of Churchill catapulted the photographer to international fame. This portrait of Greene, taken in 1964, was one of his most successful images.