For its fourth exhibition, Dadiani Fine Art, the Cork Street gallery which opened for business earlier this year, is showing a fascinating suite of colour photographs of the iconic French actress Brigitte Bardot. Taken by Ray Bellisario in 1968, the 13 photos show Bardot in a range of informal settings — a public house, Selfridges department store and a hotel in Abermarle Street — and were taken while she was in London publicising the film Shalako, a western that co-starred Sean Connery.
Bellisario, 78, was the first modern-day paprazzo who haunted the Queen and her children from 1955 onwards, snapping thousands of candid shots of the royal family. His activities prompted Prince Philip to suggest he should be imprisoned in the Tower.
He began his career as a royal photographer almost by accident when, aged 18, he happened on the Queen sheltering under an umbrella on the rain-soaked streets of Truro, Cornwall.
He captured thousands of candid images of the Royal Family, including exclusive photos of the Queen secretly meeting her uncle Edward the Duke of Windsor many years after his abdication – a reunion the palace had strongly denied.
Of Bellisario's photos, the gallery’s founder and director Eleesa Dadiani says: “Here, we see Bardot depicted less for the glamour, more for an emblem of earthly aesthetics.”