Modern and Contemporary Art
Portrait of Dr. Dumouchel
Marcel Duchamp, American (born France), 1887 - 1968
Oil on canvas
Currently not on view
1950-134-508The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950
LabelIn 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.