Léon-Paul Fargue (Primary Title)
Leon-Paul Fargue (Former Title)

Man Ray, American, 1890 - 1976 (Artist)

Gelatin silver print
Sheet: 9 × 6 15/16 in. (22.86 × 17.62 cm)

The French poet, essayist, and journalist Léon-Paul Fargue (1876–1947) was a member of the Symbolist circle, an avant-garde group that, like the Surrealists, emphasized dreamlike states of consciousness through metaphors and mysticism, in opposition to naturalism and realism. Fargue sat for this portrait in Man Ray’s studio in 1925, probably at the suggestion of one of their mutual friends, who included André Breton, Jean Cocteau, and Igor Stravinsky. A contact print from the same session shows the writer seated in a comfortable armchair with the same large wooden wine press that appears in several Man Ray portraits of the same period, including Sinclair Lewis. The French writer’s portrait was first published two years later as the frontispiece to the special “Hommage à Léon-Paul Fargue” issue of Les Feuilles Libres, which honored the poet with laudatory testimonials and works of art made by his closest friends and colleagues, including Giorgio de Chirico, Marie Laurencin, and Pablo Picasso. 

Photographer's studio stamp in black ink (faded): "Man Ray/31^bis, Rue/ Campagne/ Première/ Paris XIV^e". [stamp partially crossed out in graphite]
Inscribed in graphite on mount below sheet: "Leon Paul Fargue Man Ray 25". Inscribed in graphite on mount verso: "Leon Paul Fargue 1925".
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment
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.