Amazing Photographic Portraits of Dora Maar by Man Ray (1936)

Dora Maar (1907 – 1997) was a French photographer, painter, and poet. She was a lover and muse of Pablo Picasso.

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

Vintage Photos of Jeanne Hébuterne

Jeanne Hébuterne (1898 – 1920) was a French artist, best known as the frequent subject and common-law wife of the artist Amedeo Modigliani. Born in Paris, she aspired to be an artist and was introduced to the vibrant Montparnasse artist community through her brother Andre, who was himself an artist.

She modeled for several painters and sculptors, but soon enrolled in the Academie Colarossi for her own artistic training. There, in the spring of 1917, she met the charismatic artist Amedeo  Modigliani. Jeanne began an affair with the charismatic artist, and the two fell deeply in love. She soon moved in with him, despite strong objection from her parents

Modigliani, suffering from tuberculous meningitis,  died in January 1920. Jeanne Hébuterne’s family brought her to their home but Jeanne, totally distraught, threw herself out of the fifth-floor apartment window the day after Modigliani’s death, killing herself and her unborn child. Her family, who blamed her demise on Modigliani, interred her in the Cimetière de Bagneux. Nearly ten years later, the Hébuterne family finally relented and allowed her remains to be transferred to Père Lachaise Cemetery to rest beside Modigliani. Her epitaph reads:

“Devoted companion to the extreme sacrifice”.

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Jeanne Hébuterne (1914) via

Jeanne Hébuterne all'età di sedici anni (1914)

Jeanne Hébuterne (1914) via

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Jeanne Hébuterne via

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Jeanne Hébuterne at Amedeo Modigliani atelier in Montparnasse Paris (1919) from iulia achimescu via

Surrealist Muse Nusch Éluard – Photos by Man Ray

Nusch Éluard (born Maria Benzn; 1906 – 1946) was a French performer, model and surrealist artist.

Born in Mulhouse (then part of the German Empire), she met Swiss architect and artist Max Bill in the Odeon Café in Zurich; he nicknamed her “Nusch”, a name she would stick to.

She moved to Paris in 1928 working as a stage performer, variously described as a small-time actress, a traveling acrobat, and a “hypnotist‘s stooge”. in In 1930 she met the poet Paul Éluard working as a model. They married him in 1934. She produced surrealist photomontage and other work, and is the subject of “Facile,” a collection of Éluard’s poetry published as a photogravure book, illustrated with Man Ray’s nude photographs of her.

She was also the subject of several cubist portraits and sketches by Pablo Picasso in the late 1930s, and is said to have had an affair with him. Nusch worked for the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. She died in 1946 in Paris, collapsing in the street due to a massive stroke.

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Nusch Éluard by Man Ray 1936

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Man Ray, Nusch au Miroir, 1935

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Man Ray, Portrait of Nusch Eluard, 1934

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Man Ray, Portrait of Nusch Eluard, 1936

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Nancy Cunard (1896 –1965) – African Influenced Fashion Muse

Nancy Cunard was a writer, heiress and political activist. She was born into the British upper class and devoted much of her life to fighting racism and fascism. In 1928 Cunard had become romantically involved with African-American jazz musician Henry Crowder. They lived in an apartment in Harlem together, which prompted outraged tabloid headlines on both sides of the Atlantic.

About this time she became seriously interested in African art and culture.

Her style became informed by her devotion to the artifacts of the same culture. This was startlingly unconventional at the time. The large-scale jewelry she favored, crafted of wood, bone and ivory, the natural materials used by native crafts people, was provocative and controversial. The trademark bangles she wore on both arms snaking from wrist to elbow were considered outré adornments, which provoked media attention, visually compelling subject matter for photographers of the day.

She was often photographed wearing her collection, those of African inspiration and neckpieces of wooden cubes, which paid homage to the concepts of Cubism. At first considered the bohemian affectation of an eccentric heiress, the fashion world came to legitimize this style as avant-garde, dubbing it the “barbaric look.”

Nancy Cunard 1926 by Man Ray

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Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton

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Man Ray, Tristan Tzara kneeling to kiss Nancy Cunard’s hand, Bal du Comte de Beaumont, 1924

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Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton, 1929. © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby’s London.

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Nancy Cunard

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Amazing Victorian Photos of Muse Jane Morris

Jane Morris (née Jane Burden 1839 –  1914) was an English artists’ model who embodied the Pre-Raphaelite ideal of beauty. Her father was a stableman and her mother a laundress, Jane Burden grew up in impoverished surroundings in Oxford.

She became a model and muse to the artists William Morris, whom she married  in 1859, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Although she married Morris, it was Dante Gabriel Rossetti who first spotted Jane at a performance at Drury Lane Theatre in 1857 and asked her if she would model for his paintings.

Jane Morris, posed by Rossetti by John R Parsons, 1865

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Jane Morris, posed by Rossetti by John R Parsons, 1865

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John Robert Parsons, under the direction of Rossetti, 1865
© V&A Images / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Portrait of Jane Morris, 1865, Charcoal with touches of black chalk on cream wove paper,

42.7 x 35.3 cm, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum

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Jane Morris by Lewis Carroll, after Dante Gabriel Rossetti
 photograph of drawing, albumen print, 8 October 1863

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The First “it” Girl – Gibson Girl Evelyn Nesbit

Evelyn Nesbit (1884 – 1967) was known to millions before her 16th birthday in 1900. She was the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty.

In the early part of the 20th century, her figure and face was everywhere, appearing in mass circulation newspaper and magazine advertisements, on souvenir items and calendars, making her a cultural celebrity. She was a popular cover face on Vanity FairHarper’s BazaarThe DelineatorWomen’s Home CompanionLadies’ Home Journal and Cosmopolitan.

Her career began in her early teens in Philadelphia and continued in New York, where she posed for a cadre of respected artists of the era, James Carroll Beckwith, Frederick S. Church, and notably Charles Dana Gibson, who idealized her as a “Gibson Girl.” She had the distinction of being an early “live model,” in an era when fashion photography as an advertising medium was just beginning its ascendancy.

As a stage performer, and while still a teenager, she attracted the attention of the then 47-year-old architect and New York socialite Stanford White, who became her lover and dedicated benefactor. Nesbit achieved world-wide notoriety when her jealous husband, multi-millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw, shot and murdered Stanford White on the rooftop theatre of Madison Square Garden on the evening of June 25, 1906, leading to what the press would call “The Trial of the Century.” and Evelyn became known as “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing.”

In 1955  she was portrayed by Joan Collins in the film The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing. Marilyn Monroe had been 20th Century-Fox’s original choice for the role.

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Evelyn Nesbit by Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr.

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Evelyn Nesbit by Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr.

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Evelyn Nesbit

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Evelyn Nesbit

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