Kiki of Montparnasse


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Moïse Kisling (1891—1953)

Tsuguharu Foujita (1886—1968)

Christian Krohg (1852—1925)

Man Ray (1890—1976) American photographer, painter, and film-maker


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The most famous artists' model of the 20th century, a celebrated figure in Paris in the period between the two world wars. She came from a farming family in Burgundy and settled in Paris at the end of the First World War; her intention was to get a job in a shoe factory, but she was almost immediately discovered by Kisling. Among the other artists for whom she posed were Foujita, Per Krohg, and most notably Man Ray, with whom she lived for several years before their separation in 1929. His most famous picture of her is the photograph entitled Le Violin d'Ingres (1924), in which he has painted a violin's f-holes on her naked back. She also appeared in his experimental film L'Étoile de mer (1928) and in his notorious series of clandestine photographs published privately in 1929 in which her unmistakable lips are seen fellating the photographer. From 1926 she exhibited her own paintings (she had a one-woman show in 1930) and she made a name for herself as a night-club singer. In 1929 she published her memoirs. However, her career declined as she lost her looks and she ended her days in drunken poverty.

Subjects: Art.

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