Muses

Stephen Tennant (1906 - 1987)

Born in a wealthy British aristocratic environment, Stephen Tennent became a prominent member of a group of young, carefree and affluent personalities in the 1920s and 1930s that included such representatives as Cecil Beaton and the Mitford sisters: the ‘Bright Young Things’ as they were entitled by gossip columnists. An early assumed homosexual, Stephen Tennant built his frivolous existence and reputation on his narcissistic elegance and charm, telling his father at a young age that what he would want to become later in life would be 'a great beauty'. He dared to appear in charming feminine garments, adorned in jewelry and ribbons and covered in foundation that enhanced his poetic juvenile grace. He spent the 17 last years of his existence in a 'decorative reclusion' surrounded by his drawing, kitsch postcards and laying in as a Pasha on an oriental bed where he received the visits of famous figures such as Mick Jagger and David Hockney. ‘The Bright Young Things’ had changed the relationship of the public and the press with the rich and famous as they offered their scandalous outfits and behaviour to gossip columns that have since built a growing fascination with celebrities. Among these figures stood the eccentric and decadent Stephen Tennent who later inspired the likes of David Bowie and Boy George.

Tags / Stephen Tennent - It Men - 1920s - Muses - Wealthy - Extravagant - Beauty - Inspiration
Bright Young Things at Wilsford by Cecil Beaton, October 1927; William Walton, Cecil Beaton, Stephen Tennant, Rex Whistler, Georgia Sitwell,  Zita Jungman and Teresa Jungman
Bright Young Things at Wilsford by Cecil Beaton, October 1927; William Walton, Cecil Beaton, Stephen Tennant, Rex Whistler, Georgia Sitwell, Zita Jungman and Teresa Jungman
Mr Tennant photographed by Sir Cecil Beaton in Smith Square, London, 1927. Courtesy of the Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby's
Mr Tennant photographed by Sir Cecil Beaton in Smith Square, London, 1927. Courtesy of the Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby's
Mr Tennant photographed by Sir Cecil Beaton at his childhood home, Wilsford Manor, 1938. Courtesy of the Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby's
Mr Tennant photographed by Sir Cecil Beaton at his childhood home, Wilsford Manor, 1938. Courtesy of the Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby's
Stephen Tennant and Cecil Beaton at Wilsford Manor by Cecil Beaton, 1939
Stephen Tennant and Cecil Beaton at Wilsford Manor by Cecil Beaton, 1939
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton, 1927/ 1928
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton, 1927/ 1928
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton, 1927/ 1928
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton, 1927/ 1928
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton, 1927/ 1928
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton, 1927/ 1928
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton, 1927/ 1928
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton, 1927/ 1928
Illustration by Stephen Tennant for The White Wallet by Pamela Grey, 1928
Illustration by Stephen Tennant for The White Wallet by Pamela Grey, 1928
Stephen Tennant by Janet Jevons, circa 1920
Stephen Tennant by Janet Jevons, circa 1920
Stephen Tennant by Unknown photographer, early 1910s
Stephen Tennant by Unknown photographer, early 1910s
Stephen Tennant by Janet Jevons, circa 1920
Stephen Tennant by Janet Jevons, circa 1920
Stephen Tennant by Foulsham & Banfield, 1920-1925
Stephen Tennant by Foulsham & Banfield, 1920-1925
Stephen Tennant by Foulsham & Banfield, 1920-1925
Stephen Tennant by Foulsham & Banfield, 1920-1925
Cecil Beaton and Stephen Tennant by Maurice Beck and Helen Macgregor, 1927
Cecil Beaton and Stephen Tennant by Maurice Beck and Helen Macgregor, 1927
Stephen Tennant as Prince Charming by Cecil Beaton, 1927
Stephen Tennant as Prince Charming by Cecil Beaton, 1927
Stephen Tennant by Madame Yevonde, 1940s
Stephen Tennant by Madame Yevonde, 1940s
Bright Young Things by Cecil Beaton, October 1927; Rex Whistler, Cecil Beaton, Georgia Sitwell, William Walton, Stephen Tennant, Teresa Jungman and Zita Jungman
Bright Young Things by Cecil Beaton, October 1927; Rex Whistler, Cecil Beaton, Georgia Sitwell, William Walton, Stephen Tennant, Teresa Jungman and Zita Jungman
The White Wallet by Pamela Grey, Illustration by Stephen Tennant , 1928
The White Wallet by Pamela Grey, Illustration by Stephen Tennant , 1928
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton
Portraits of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton
Portraits of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton
Portrait of Stephen Tennant by Cecil Beaton
David Hockney and Stephen Tenant by Cecil Beaton, 1970's
David Hockney and Stephen Tenant by Cecil Beaton, 1970's
Cecil Beaton, Stephen Tennant , Zita Jungman, Edith Olivier et Rex Whistler
Cecil Beaton, Stephen Tennant , Zita Jungman, Edith Olivier et Rex Whistler
Portrait of Stephen Tennant, 1910's
Portrait of Stephen Tennant, 1910's
Stephen Tennant in bed by Cecil Beaton, 1920s
Stephen Tennant in bed by Cecil Beaton, 1920s
The bust of Stephen Tennant by Lambert, Maurice Prosper
The bust of Stephen Tennant by Lambert, Maurice Prosper
Stephen Tennant, The return of the Travellers
Stephen Tennant, The return of the Travellers
Stephen Tennant Studies of glamorous ladies, pencil, pen and pink and brown ink and watercolour
Stephen Tennant Studies of glamorous ladies, pencil, pen and pink and brown ink and watercolour
Stephen Tennant, Dancing in Relation to Mystical Thought; Vienna, Rome, London
Stephen Tennant, Dancing in Relation to Mystical Thought; Vienna, Rome, London
Stephen Tennant,  Venice, early Morning
Stephen Tennant, Venice, early Morning
Stephen Tennant, The Carthaginian Rose
Stephen Tennant, The Carthaginian Rose
Stephen Tennant, Flesh and Miracle Poems
Stephen Tennant, Flesh and Miracle Poems
The Bright Young Things, Impersonation Party, 1927: Among the revellers are Cecil Beaton (back left), Tallulah Bankhead (front right), Elizabeth Ponsonby (in black hat), and (front row left) Stephen Tennant as Queen Marie of Romania
The Bright Young Things, Impersonation Party, 1927: Among the revellers are Cecil Beaton (back left), Tallulah Bankhead (front right), Elizabeth Ponsonby (in black hat), and (front row left) Stephen Tennant as Queen Marie of Romania
In Sicily by Siegfried Sassoon, illustration by Stephen Tennant
In Sicily by Siegfried Sassoon, illustration by Stephen Tennant
To my Mother by Siegfried Sassoon, illustration by Stephen Tennant
To my Mother by Siegfried Sassoon, illustration by Stephen Tennant
Illustration by Stephen Tennant for  To my Mother by Siegfried Sassoon
Illustration by Stephen Tennant for To my Mother by Siegfried Sassoon
Stephen Tennant photographed by Cecil Beaton, 1920's
Stephen Tennant photographed by Cecil Beaton, 1920's
Stephen tenant by Cecil Beaton, 1927
Stephen tenant by Cecil Beaton, 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c. 1927
Stephen Tennant and Siegfried Sassoon, 1920's
Stephen Tennant and Siegfried Sassoon, 1920's
Stephen Tennant and Siegfried Sassoon, 1920's
Stephen Tennant and Siegfried Sassoon, 1920's
Stephen Tennant, 1930
Stephen Tennant, 1930
Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Dr Kaltenbach, Siegfried Sassoon and Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Dr Kaltenbach, Siegfried Sassoon and Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Siegfried Sassoon and Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Siegfried Sassoon and Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Siegfried Sassoon and Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Siegfried Sassoon and Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Stephen Tennant, in the Library, Wilsford Manor, April 1938 by Cecil Beaton
Stephen Tennant, in the Library, Wilsford Manor, April 1938 by Cecil Beaton
Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Stephen Tennant, 1930's
Stephen Tennant as Prince Charming, 1920's
Stephen Tennant as Prince Charming, 1920's
Stephen Tennant and The Bright Young Things, photograhed by Cecil Beaton, 1927
Stephen Tennant and The Bright Young Things, photograhed by Cecil Beaton, 1927
Stephen Tennant and friend, photograhed by Cecil Beaton, 1927
Stephen Tennant and friend, photograhed by Cecil Beaton, 1927
David Hockney and Stephen Tenant by Cecil Beaton, 1970's
David Hockney and Stephen Tenant by Cecil Beaton, 1970's
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant (1906–1987), records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant (1906–1987), records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant, records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant, records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant, records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant, records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant, records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant, records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant, records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant, records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant, records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
This illustrated diary by Stephen Tennant, records a holiday in Gibraltar, Morocco and Tangier in 1948
Illustration by Stephen Tenant, 1930's
Illustration by Stephen Tenant, 1930's
Wilsford Manor, April 1938 by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, April 1938 by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Wilsford Manor, by Cecil Beaton
Illustration by Stephen Tenant for The sun is wisdom
Illustration by Stephen Tenant for The sun is wisdom
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
Illustration by Stephen Tenant
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