Man Ray & Paul Eluard, Facile, 1935

Cover back and front

Cover back and front


Facile is the collaboration of French poet Paul Eluard (Eugène Émile Paul Grindel) with American-born artist Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky). Eluard’s second wife Maria Benz, known as Nusch (his first wife incidentally being Helena Diakonova, who later achieved fame as Gala, the wife of Salvadore Dali) inspired the poems and posed for the images. In terms of layout and photographic language this book inspired many artists and photographers, and remains a coveted treasure to many photobook collectors. It is compromised of unbound folded sheets held within a hard cover, resembling a small portfolio more than a photobook. Whatever the definition, Man Ray’s nudes of Nusch were shockingly new and ground-breaking, as is the cover design. The volume contains eleven nudes (with one double-exposure) and one still life with gloves. Eluard’s poems both figuratively and literally caress Nusch’s figure in the layout. A wonderful declaration of love. Sadly Nusch was to die unexpectedly in 1946.

Poèmes de Paul Eluard
Photographies de Man Ray

The text was printed by les Éditions G. L. M. and the heliogravure images were printed by Breger

Published by EDITIONS G. L. M. Paris in 1936 with a print run of 1225 copies.

The first 25 copies were a special edition on Japanese paper containing a signed print by Man Ray. They were numbered 1-20, plus 5 marked I-V HORS COMMERCE (non-trade)

The other, regular, volumes were numbered from 21 to 1020, with an additional 200 marked VI-CCV HORS COMMERCE (non-trade)

Soft cover 

24 pages

App. 18.3 x 24.4cm