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Circus Man, Nice
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© Estate of Lisette Model, courtesy Baudoin Lebon/Keitelman

Lisette Model
American, Nice, France, about 1937
Gelatin silver print
13 1/2 x 10 7/8 in.
84.XM.153.17

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While visiting her family in Nice, a fashionable resort on the French Riviera, Lisette Model began a series of photographs of wealthy vacationers along the Promenade des Anglais and another series of photographs of the working classes in other parts of the city. This rear-view portrait of a circus performer is an unforgiving commentary on his generous proportions, exaggerated by Model's close cropping of the figure to fill the image's frame. The posts of the bench bisect him horizontally and vertically, dividing his body into neat sections of rounded pattern and texture. Identified only as a "Circus Man," the subject's anonymity is secured: not even an eyelash peeks out from the smooth, blank side of his face.