Man Ray - Photographs New York Thursday, April 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Milan
    Private Collection, New York

  • Literature

    Man Ray, Self Portrait, p. 227
    Manford, Behind the Photo: The Stamps of Man Ray, n.p., for stamp

  • Catalogue Essay

    The photograph offered here is a still from Man Ray’s film, Les Mystères du Château de Dé. At 27 minutes, it is the longest of Man Ray’s films and his most ambitious production. The project was prompted by a request from Vicomte Charles de Noailles, Man Ray’s friend and a great patron of the arts, to make a film as a souvenir of his château in Hyères. The château’s cube-like forms reminded Man Ray of the Mallarmé poem, A Throw of the Dice Can Never Do Away with Chance, and he drew the film’s title from this. Dice appear as a motif throughout, as do a series of masked figures who move ghost-like through the rooms and grounds. Artwork by Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro appears in the film, as does the château’s unique garden. With its ambience of eerie mystery, its combination of the quotidian and the bizarre, and Man Ray’s signature brand of oblique humor, the film is a triumph of Surrealist cinema.


Les Mystères du Château de Dé

Gelatin silver print.
6 x 7 7/8 in. (15.2 x 20 cm)
Titled by the artist and with reduction notations in an unidentified hand in pencil, and the '31 bis, Rue Campagne Première, Paris, Littré 76-57' credit stamp (Manford M4) on the verso.

$7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for $8,190

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairman, Americas



New York Auction 8 April 2021