oVintage gelatin silver print, c.1930s. Estate stamp verso: 'Atelier Dora Maar, 1907 - 1997, 19 novembre 1999 lot 86'.
Dora Maar is best known as one of Picasso's most famous subjects, the celebrated Weeping Woman. However she was also an acclaimed photographer whose work was, until recently, eclipsed by her relationship with Picasso. Her work is now receiving the status it deserves. It was recently the subject of a major retrospective at the Pompidou Centre in Paris and Tate Modern in London.
Her photographs range from social concern to surrealism and include pictures of the streets of Paris, fashion and adveritising work.
The theme of this photograph is the erotique-voilee or "veiled erotic", an important one for the surrealists. It was one of Man Ray's most famous subjects, and cloth covering a woman's famous is an important subject for the painter Rene Magritte. In the present work Dora Maar, presents her version of the subject. By hiding the face of the naked woman, we are invited to view her body without embarrassment. She cannot catch our gaze and we cannot see hers. It also creates an almost grotesque aspect to an otherwise sensual image.
The image typifies the surrealist subject. An everyday scene is made sur-real or hyper real. What can be more ordinary than taking off a dress or night shirt? But Maar creates a small Surrealist jewel: a photograph charged with eroticism.
This vintage photograph is the only known print of this image and comes from the photographer's estate.