Rare images of Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn, including images taken before she became famous, are to go on show in the UK for the first time

on location in the Congo for 'The Nun's Story'

They are among 35 photographs loaned to the National Portrait Gallery in London by Audrey Hepburn’s sons, Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti, from their personal collection.

Among them is an image of Audrey Hepburn performing a dance recital in 1942 (pictured below), aged 13, and a rarely seen image of her taken during the Africa filming of The Nun’s Story, in 1958 (see above).

The National Portrait Gallery, which describes the collection as ‘remarkable’, is set to showcase the portraits at an exhibition that opens on 2 July.

Luca Dotti said: ‘We are thrilled to be able to support this comprehensive and beautifully curated exhibition dedicated to our mother, as it allows me and my brother Sean to grasp fragments of an otherwise unreachable past.’

He added: ‘The experience is all the more rewarding as the exhibition strives to go behind the scenes and give us rare insights into the making of Audrey Hepburn, from her London debut and her rise to stardom in the ’50s and ’60s, to the last season of her life.

‘She would be honoured to have an exhibition dedicated to her at the National Portrait Gallery. And glad to be back home.’

The National Portrait Gallery’s director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, said: ‘I am delighted that we are able to exhibit these beautiful and rare photographs of Audrey Hepburn, which will form a very special part of this exhibition celebrating a remarkable 20th century icon.

‘We are hugely grateful to Luca Dotti and Sean Hepburn Ferrer for their generous contribution and for their ongoing support of this exhibition.’

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon runs at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 July-18 October 2015.

For details visit www.npg.org.uk/hepburn.

1942 during war, dance shot

1953 Sept. 22 Sabrina wardrobe test shots

[All images courtesy of National Portrait Gallery]