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Spotlight on Le Violon D Ingres by Man Ray

10 January 2012

Le Violon D Ingres is one of many surrealist photographs created by Man Ray.

He was inspired to create this one by the nude paintings of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. As in Ingres’s Grande Odalisca the model for Man Ray’s photo Kiki also wears a turban. He then altered the classical nude image by adding the f-holes of a stringed instrument. These were painted on to the photographic print which was then re -photographed to create the finished piece.

The title Le Violon d'Ingres  is a French idiom that means "hobby” and 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 the objectification and appreciation of the female form. 

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