Man Ray’s ‘Le Violon d’Ingres’ sells for $12.4 million

In affirmation of a expanding desire in Surrealism, Male Ray’s photograph, “Le Violon d’Ingres,” brought in a whopping $12.4 million in excess of the weekend at Christie’s New York showroom, additional than $5 million more than the projected valuation.

The piece is a portion of the assortment, “The Surrealist Earth of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs and Melvin Jacobs,” which collectively garnered just in excess of $42 million from the auction. Ray’s function confirmed up together with that of Rene Magritte, Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, and Marcel Duchamp, among the many others in the couple’s selection. The Jacobs made their title (and fortune) as successful trend merchants and befriended lots of Surrealists all through the ‘50s and ‘60s.

The sale of “Le Violon d’Ingres” can make it the most expensive photograph ever offered at auction. It trumps “Rhein II” by German photographer Andreas Gursky, which bought for $4.3 million in 2011.

“Photography has been the invention and medium quietly underpinning and influencing considerably of the artwork and well-liked lifestyle of the 20th century,” Darius Himes, Christie’s International Head of Photographs informed Artlyst. “ Extensive found as an icon of 20th-century artwork, this purely photographic get the job done is really unmatched and, showing up on the industry for the quite very first time in its record, has now smashed all records for any photographic piece at auction, classic or present-day, as very well as all Guy Ray auction information in any medium.” 

What is the Violon d’Ingres?

The popular photograph depicts actress, singer, and model Kiki de Montparnasse with “F-holes” operating down her back again in an evocation of the curves of a violin.

The title of the impression is a reference to Jean-August-Dominique Ingres, a French neoclassical painter, who was also known to perform the instrument. Hence, the phrase “violon d’Ingres,” is utilized in reference to an artist’s secondary pastime.

“Le Violon d’Ingres” could have also been viewed as a play on the reality that de Montparnasse was the two Ray’s lover and design. 

“Surrealism as an inventive movement has seeped into our consciousness in excess of the study course of 100 years now, and no do the job more so than Guy Ray’s Le Violon d’Ingres,” Himes advised Artnet Information. “There are no other pictures that have demonstrated to have the lasting electric power and playful eroticism that define the Surrealists of the 1920s. It ranks amongst the most influential works of art—let on your own photographs—of the 20th century.”

The gelatin silver print was built straight in the darkroom, with the violin marks owning been burned on by means of overexposure. It is a person of just two in existence—the other resides at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. 

Who is Man Ray?

Born Emmanuel Radnitzky in 1890, Male Ray moved to Paris in 1921, and remained there all his existence, with a brief interlude in Los Angeles all through Earth War II. He moved in the identical circles as Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Salvador Dali, and Picasso—to identify just a couple.

Nevertheless he is best known for his manipulated photos and avant-garde images, Ray was also a filmmaker, painter, and item artist. He labored with photograms, which he dubbed “rayographs,” in which a subject was exposed in front of a piece of image paper, with no digicam applied. The ensuing photos have been a analyze of mild and shadow.

Kenneth Proto

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