Lot 28
  • 28

Dora Maar

30,000 - 50,000 USD
31,250 USD
bidding is closed


  • Dora Maar
  • Gelatin silver print
  • 11½ by 9¼ in. (29.3 by 23.5 cm.)
flush-mounted, the photographer's estate stamp on the reverse, framed, Buhl Collection and Guggenheim Museum exhibition labels on the reverse, 1936


Piasa, Drouot Richelieu, Paris, Les Photograpie de Dora Maar, 20 November 1998, Nathalie Karg, Ltd., New York, agent


New York, Guggenheim Museum, Speaking with Hands: Photographs from The Buhl Collection, June - September 2004, and 4 other international venues through 2007 (see Appendix 1)

Palm Beach Photographic Centre, In Good Hands: Selected Works from the Buhl Collection, March 2011

Middletown, Delaware, Warner Gallery at St. Andrew's School, In Good Hands: Selected Works from the Buhl Collection, October - November 2011


Jennifer Blessing, Speaking with Hands: Photographs from The Buhl Collection (Guggenheim Foundation, 2004), pp. 84 and 230 (this print)

Mary Ann Caws, Picasso's Weeping Woman: The Life and Art of Dora Maar (New York, 2000), p. 64

Catalogue Note

Nusch Eluard, wife of the poet Paul Eluard, was known for her winning personality and her beauty.  ‘No photo can reproduce the charm and sweetness of this woman,’ Man Ray wrote about one of his many photographs of her.   A dance hall performer from Germany, she married the widowed and much older Eluard in 1934 and thus became, like Dora Maar, a member of Surrealism’s inner circle.   In 1935, Man Ray and Paul Eluard published Facile, a book of Eluard’s rapturous verse to Nusch, paired with Man Ray’s photographs of her.   Like Maar, Nusch Eluard was also a model for Picasso, who painted and drew her several times.

Dora Maar (born Henrietta Theodora Markovitch) first began photographing in the late 1920s.  She studied painting as well as photography before setting up a photography studio in the early 1930s.  Maar is responsible for some of the most enduring Surrealist images of the era, among them photomontages (Lot 11), haunting street scenes (Lot 175), and the unforgettable close-up of a preserved armadillo she called Pere Ubu.  Her photographs, like the one offered here, are penetrating and unusual.  In Maar’s portrait, the beautiful and always vivacious Nusch is contemplative, her hands drawn to her face.

Maar biographer Mary Anne Caws has called Maar’s photographic portraits of Nusch among her finest.  The present image was later photomontaged by Maar with a spider’s web and titled ‘The Years Lie in Wait for You’ (reproduced in Caws, p. 65).  During World War II, Nusch Eluard worked for the Resistance, and died unexpectedly in 1946.