The J. Paul Getty Museum

Larmes (Tears)

Object Details


Larmes (Tears)


Man Ray (American, 1890 - 1976)




Paris, France (Place Created)


about 1932


Gelatin silver print

Object Number:



22.9 × 29.8 cm (9 × 11 3/4 in.)


© Man Ray Trust ARS-ADAGP

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Object Description

Judging from his inclusion of this image in other photographic compositions, Man Ray must have considered Tears one of his most successful photographs. A cropped version of it with a single eye also appears as the first plate in a 1934 book of his photographs.

Like the emotive expression of a silent screen star in a film still, the woman's plaintive upward glance and mascara-encrusted lashes seem intended to invoke wonder at the cause of her distress. The face belongs to a fashion model who cries tears of glistening, round glass beads; the effect is to aestheticize the sentiment her tears would normally express. Man Ray made this photograph in Paris around the time of his breakup with his lover Lee Miller, and the woman's false tears may relate to that event in the artist's life.


Raoul Ubac, Belgian, 1910 - 1985

- 1984

Daniel Wolf, Inc., sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Rare States and Unusual Subjects: Photographs by Paul Strand, Andre Kertesz, and Man Ray (July 7 to September 6, 1987)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 7 to September 6, 1987
Man Ray (Paris) (April 28 to June 29, 1998)
  • Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), April 28 to June 29, 1998
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
In Focus: Making a Scene (June 30 to October 18, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 30 to October 18, 2009
On the Look-out for Light -- Man Ray's Photography in Surrealist Paris (September 15 to December 8, 2013)
  • Max Ernst Museum Brühl des LVR (Brühl), September 15 to December 8, 2013
Dora Maar (June 5, 2019 to May 23, 2021)
  • Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), June 5 to July 29, 2019

Krauss, Rosalind E. and Jane Livingston. L'Amour Fou: Photography and Surrealism (Washington, D.C.: Corcoran Gallery of Art; New York: Abbeville Press, 1985), p. 118.

Pech, Jürgen, Achim Sommer, and Patrick Blümel. Man Ray: Fotograf Im Paris Der Surrealisten. (Brühl: Max Ernst Museum des LVR, 2013), p. 165.

Brown, Bill. Other Things (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015), plate 8.