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Paul Éluard in Uniform (Primary Title) Paul Eluard in Uniform (Former Title)
Aside from Marcel Duchamp, the French poet Paul Éluard (1895-1952) was Man Ray’s closest friend in Paris between the two world wars. A founding member of the Surrealist movement in 1924, Éluard was a frequent collaborator with Man Ray on Surrealist book projects, including the 1935 publication Facile (Easy). The volume juxtaposed Éluard’s poems with the artist’s photographs of the poet’s wife, Maria Benz, known affectionately as Nusch, whose naked torso framed her husband’s words in a groundbreaking departure from traditional book design. Éluard and Man Ray worked together again on Les Main libres (Free Hands), which was published by Jeanne Bucher in 1937. In September 1939, Éluard was mobilized by the French Army and stationed as a lieutenant in the quartermaster’s corps in Miguères, a village in north-central France. Man Ray visited him there and made this portrait of his friend in his military uniform. Following the Armistice of June 22, 1940, Éluard returned to Paris and spent the rest of World War II as a member of the underground French Resistance.
Inscribed in blue ink in unidentified hand on print verso: "MR".
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment
Man Ray: The Paris Years, VMFA, October 30, 2021 – February 21, 2022
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