Marcel Proust on his Deathbed

Object Details


Marcel Proust on his Deathbed


Man Ray (American, 1890 - 1976)




November 20, 1922


Gelatin silver print


15.1 x 19.8 cm (5 15/16 x 7 13/16 in.)


© Man Ray Trust ARS-ADAGP

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Ravaged by bronchitis and pneumonia, Marcel Proust spent the last night of his life dictating manuscript changes for a section of his famous novel Remembrance of Things Past.

Man Ray did not know Proust, but he had become such an important photographer that mutual friends dispatched him to the celebrated French author's bedside to make a final portrait two days after his death. The side view associates Man Ray's photograph with a tradition of postmortem photography dating back to the inception of the medium.

Fame and Photography (March 9 to May 23, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), March 9 to May 23, 1993
A Practical Dreamer: The Photographs of Man Ray (October 27, 1998 to October 8, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 27, 1998 to January 17, 1999
  • Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), April 2 to June 25, 2000
  • Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), July 13 to October 8, 2000