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Cocteau and Man Ray = BARBETTE

In the mid twenties Jean Cocteau commissioned Man Ray to take the photographs of his famous Barbette performance. A performance in which he personated the beautiful and famous Barbette and this would become one of the first “public” personifications of a woman by a man. Cocteau is a highly original artist and when i searched on the internet for he Barbette book, which i have in the collection of,  i encountered this excellent article

The Surreal Sex of Beauty: Jean Cocteau and Man Ray’s “Le Numéro Barbette”

by Chase Dimock

This explains the importance of the performance and gives an insight in both the persons of Cocteau and Man Ray.


de Woelrat published an excellent little book on this performance by Jean Cocteau available at:



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