Vitaly Halberstadt and Marcel Duchamp (Primary Title)
The World of Chess (Series Title Translation)
Le Monde des échecs (Portfolio Title)

Man Ray, American, 1890 - 1976 (Artist)
Edition L'Echiquier, Brussels, active 1930s (Publisher)

each: 6 ½ x 9 21/32 in., (16.5 x 24.5 cm)

This double portrait of the Russian-born chess player and theorist Vitaly Halberstadt (1903–1967) and the French artist Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) was originally made for publication in the 1932 chess treatise Opposition and Sister Squares Reconciled by M. Duchamp and V. Halberstadt. Despite the inclusion of Man Ray’s double portrait, as well as Duchamp’s unique design and layout, the book sold poorly, which was almost certainly due to its arcane subject matter. In February 1933, to help encourage sales, the book’s publisher issued Le Monde des échecs (The World of Chess), a portfolio supplement to Opposition and Sister Squares Reconciled containing photogravures of seventeen famous chess players, including Man Ray’s double portrait of Halberstadt and Duchamp. Man Ray altered his original portrait through the photomontage addition of the chessboard hanging between the two players, whose lozenge shape fills the empty space and echoes the v-shaped symmetry of their heads and bodies. 

Publisher’s mark in lower margin left: “l’Echiquier”. Title printed in lower margin: “V. Halberstadt et M. Duchamp”. Studio information printed in lower margin right: “(Studio Man Ray, Paris.)”
Gift of Frances M. Naumann and Marie T. Keller
Man Ray: The Paris Years, VMFA, October 30, 2021 – February 21, 2022

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.