Marilyn Monroe poses nude, draped in diaphanous scarves, wrapped in bed sheets, or dressed only in strings of jewellery. In other photos, she is captured almost playing at dressing up, in evening gowns, overcoats and hats.

The photo shoot with photographer Bert Stern, in June 1962, was commissioned by the US magazine Vogue and took place over three days in the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles. By the time the magazine came out, in August, Marilyn was dead.

The shoot, while not actually producing the last photos ever taken of the screen icon, has since become legendary itself and become known as The Last Sitting. In 1982, Stern released a book of more than 2,500 photographs he had taken, including proof sheets with images that Marilyn had disliked, crossing them out in red.

Now, two signed images from that iconic shoot have been obtained by Zebra One Gallery in Hampstead, as part of its Marilyn Exposed exhibition.

Gallery owner Gabrielle du Plooy is very excited about her acquisition – both from a professional and personal point of view.

“There are only a limited number of signed prints available,“ she explains, “and they’re strictly controlled by Stern’s estate, which rarely consigns these pieces to commercial galleries.

“And I’m a huge fan myself. She proved that a woman can be independent and single-minded without having to compromise her femininity.”

The exhibition also features images of Marilyn by Andy Warhol, Douglas Kirkland and Frank Worth.

“Marilyn is the most iconic celebrity of the post-War era,“ says Gabrielle, who lives in Hampstead.

“This is a unique exhibition, consisting of images that have never before been shown in the UK, and shows Marilyn in her earliest incarnation as a Hollywood starlet, through her apotheosis as sex symbol, to an accomplished actress in her last film, The Misfits, with Clark Gable.“

Of the 12 images the gallery is displaying, Gabrielle loves the Stern photo of Marilyn dressed in a backless black dress, looking over her shoulder at the camera.

“The Last Sitting reveals Marilyn as playful, sensual, erotic, comedic,“ Gabrielle continues. “No photographs prior to this shoot had managed to reveal these varied sides to her personality.“

  • Marilyn Exposed is at Zebra One Gallery, Perrin’s Court, Hampstead until December 24. Details: 020 7794 1281,