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Liz Taylor

Artist
Boris Chaliapin, 1904 - May 1979
Sitter
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, 27 Feb 1932 - 23 Mar 2011
Date
1949
Type
Painting
Medium
Gouache on paperboard
Dimensions
Image: 30.5 x 27.5cm (12 x 10 13/16")
Mat: 55.9 × 40.6cm (22 × 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mrs. Boris Chaliapin
Restrictions & Rights
© Chris Murphy
Object number
NPG.88.TC64
Exhibition Label
Time reported in 1949 that “the movie business was bad last year,” and Hollywood was looking for remedies, namely better stories and younger performers. One actress in particular seemed to be a sure fix, the seventeen-year-old former child prodigy Elizabeth Taylor. She had been the star of National Velvet (1944) and was currently among the bevy of starlets in MGM’s Little Women, with prospects of glamorous adult roles to follow. Her “great beauty,” as captured here by artist Boris Chaliapin, was her “foremost asset,” for beneath that “breath-taking façade,” reported Time, “there is scarcely a symptom of sophistication.” Despite Time’s dismissive assessment, Taylor would go on to win two Oscars for Best Actress and is regarded as one of the supreme stars of Hollywood’s golden age.
Time reportó en 1949 que “el año pasado fue malo para el negocio de las películas” y que Hollywood estaba en busca de remedios, es decir, mejores guiones y actores más jóvenes. Si alguien parecía una solución segura era la ex niña prodigio Elizabeth Taylor, entonces de diecisiete años. Taylor había protagonizado National Velvet (1944) y en ese momento formaba parte de la camada de estrellas en ciernes ubicadas por MGM en Little Women, además de tener en su horizonte glamorosos papeles adultos. Su “gran belleza”, como la captó el artista Boris Chaliapin, era su “mayor ventaja”, pues tras esa “sensacional fachada”, comentó Time, “no existe apenas indicio de sofisticación”. A pesar de esta desdeñosa apreciación, Taylor llegaría a ganar dos Oscars por mejor actriz y se le considera una de las estrellas supremas de la era dorada de Hollywood.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection