AUDEN, WYSTAN HUGH (1907-1973, poet)
Lot 4AR
AUDEN, WYSTAN HUGH (1907-1973, poet)
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Lot Details
AUDEN, WYSTAN HUGH (1907-1973, poet)
PORTRAIT BY JOHN MINIHAN (b. 1946), vintage photograph, silver print, head and shoulders, facing the camera, looking down, his hair falling over his forehead, and his lined visage emphasised, SIGNED BY AUDEN AND MINIHAN on the recto of the image ('W.H. Auden' and 'John Minihan'), inscribed on the verso by Minihan 'Taken at Poetry International London 1973...Poet. W.H. Auden, London, 1972' and 'For Michael Best wishes John Minihan' with his stamps of copyright and address at Ballydehob, County Cork, Ireland, framed and glazed, size of image 8¾ x11 ½ inches (22 x 29 cm), overall size 14¼ x 17 inches (36.5 x 43 cm), London, [1972]


  • Auden attended the Poetry International in London in both 1972 and 1973; another example of this photograph was dated 1972 by Minihan. No example of it is in the National Portrait Gallery. Signed photographs of Auden are rare.

    Celebrated for its craquelure, Auden's face really belonged in the British Museum, according to his close friend and collaborator Christopher Isherwood. Auden's own comparison of it with 'a wedding cake left out in the rain' is as striking as his definition of poetry as 'memorable speech'.

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