Portrait of Dr. Dumouchel
Marcel Duchamp, American (born France), 1887 - 1968
In this mysterious painting, in which the influence of Henri Matisse and the Fauves is evident in the scrubby paint handling and use of non-naturalistic iridescent colors, Duchamp envelops the left hand of his childhood friend with a strange emanation, like a halo or aura. Raymond Dumouchel was a medical student in the field of radiology when he posed for this portrait, so the artist's treatment of his hand probably refers to his pioneering work with X-rays and other recent scientific inventions. However, the glowing nimbus that surrounds his hand also suggests that Dumouchel possessed special healing powers or extrasensory perceptions.