Never-Before-Seen Brigitte Bardot Portraits On View in London

The photos were shot by Ray Bellisario, the original paparazzo.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.
Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

If you’re a fan of French actress and ’60s sex symbol Brigitte Bardot, you’ll want to head to London before June 30 to catch a selection of never-before-seen color photograph of the film siren, currently on display at Dadiani Fine Art.

Shot in 1968 by Ray Bellisario, purported to be the first modern-day paparazzo (yep, now you know who to thank for the Kardashians), the photographs reveal a 34-year-old Bardot shopping and lounging at a pub or in the lobby of a hotel. The series was taken on a single afternoon while she was in London, publicizing the film “Shalako,” which she starred in alongside Sean Connery.

“Here, we see Bardot depicted less for the glamour, more for an emblem of earthly aesthetics,” remarks gallery director Eleesa Dadiani in a press release. Indeed, Bardot’s bohemian sensibilities and effortless beauty are undeniable in the 13 images.

Bellisario, how 78, began his career 60 years ago when he happened to spot the Queen on the rain-soaked streets of Truro and snapped a picture. He began stalking and snapping candid shots of the royal family with such fervor that Prince Philip once suggested he should be imprisoned.

Bardot, however, was not phased by the paparazzo’s presence—in fact, the two became pals after Bellisario helped her escape from a hoard of press and fans for an afternoon romp at the local bar. “I’d just bought a new car,” Bellisario recalls. “It was a Ford Consul which I’d parked right behind us. So I grabbed her arm and I said, ‘Come with me,’ and she did! And she said, ‘Oh, this is fun, I’ve been kidnapped!”

If you can’t make it across the pond, New York’s POP International Galleries will open an exhibition of rare photographs of Marilyn Monroe—that other blonde bombshell—on June 17 (see New Intimate Photographs of Marilyn Monroe Make Art Market Debut).

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

Photo: Courtesy Dadiani Fine Art.

“Brigitte Bardot: 13 Unseen Photographs, London 1968” will be on display at Dadiani Fine Art in London from June 6–June 30, 2015.


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