Trivium Art HistoryMan Ray

Ingres's Violin

Ingres's Violin, 1924 — Man Ray
29.6 cm22.7 cm

Ingres's Violin is a Dadaist, Gelatin Silver Print, Photography Photographic Print created by Man Ray in 1924. It lives at the The J. Paul Getty Museum in the United States. The image is tagged The Nude in Art, and Women. Source

Man Ray was an admirer of the paintings of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and made a series of photographs, inspired by Ingres's languorous nudes, of the model Kiki in a turban. Painting the f-holes of a stringed instrument onto the photographic print and then rephotographing the print, Man Ray altered what was originally a classical nude. He also added the title Le Violon d'Ingres, a French idiom that means "hobby." The transformation of Kiki's body into a musical instrument with the crude addition of a few brushstrokes makes this a humorous image, but her armless form is also disturbing to contemplate. The title seems to suggest that, while playing the violin was Ingres's hobby, toying with Kiki was a pastime of Man Ray. The picture maintains a tension between objectification and appreciation of the female form.

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