MAN RAY (1890–1976)
Marie-Laure De Noailles, 1936
solarized gelatin silver print, mounted on board
stamped photographer's credit 'MAN RAY - 8 RUE / DU VAL-DE-GRACE / PARIS 5e - FRANCE / DANTON 92-25' in ink (verso)
image/sheet: 8 5/8 x 6 5/8 in. (21.9 x 16.8 cm.)
Timothy Baum, New York;
acquired from the above by the present owner, 1995.
US Camera, 1937, n°86.
Timothy Baum, Man Ray's Paris Portraits, 1921-1939, Middendorf Gallery, 1989, p. 67.
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Lot Essay

One of the most significant patrons of her era, Marie-Laure De Noailles served as the inspiration for many artists, notably the Surrealists. She was well recognized for having a daring and unconventional attitude. Alongside her husband Charles de Noailles, she placed commissions for paintings, photographs and sculptures. The couple was a benefactor for Les Mystères du Château de Dé (The Mysteries of the Chateau of Dice), the Man Ray film from 1929 following a pair of travelers on their journey to the Villa Noailles in Hyeres; the film was dedicated to the Viscountess of Noailles. The alluring solarized portrait on offer here stunningly conveys the charm of this influential character. Resting her head on her palm with her eyes pointing downwards, as if about to close, Marie-Laure De Noailles is completely relaxed and radiating the unwavering confidence of a powerful woman. Man Ray's talent as a photographer is once again demonstrated by his ability to capture the essence of his subject in a single image. (Neil Baldwin, Man Ray: American Artist, Potter, New York, 1988).
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