At the urging of his friend Jean Cocteau, Man Ray rushed to photograph the author of Remembrance of Things Past on his deathbed. In the October/November issue of Les Nouvelles Littéraires, Cocteau wrote: Those who have seen this profile of calm, of order, of plenitude, will never forget the spectacle of an unbelievable recording device come to a stop, becoming an art object: a masterpiece of repose next to a heap of notebooks where our friend's genius continues to live on like the wristwatch of a dead soldier. This print initially belonged to Madame Robert Proust, the writer's sister-in-law.
Inscription: inscribed in pencil on mount, recto BR: "44 MAN RAY, PROUST, M22"; Inscribed in pencil on print, verso TL: "provient du collectionneur Guerin // qui l'avait obtenue de Madame // Robert Proust, belle soeur de // Marcel Proust.// cf. Autoportrait p. 164"; Stamped in red ink on print, verso C : "MAN RAY // 31, bis, Rue // Campagne // Première // PARIS"; stamped in purple ink on print, verso C: "REPRODUCTION INTERDITE";
Mme. Robert Proust (sister-in-law of Marcel Proust); Marcel Guerin Collection, Paris; Texbraun Estate; [Oberfot Anstalt, Liechtenstein]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, September 14, 1988
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Times: Photography Between the Two World Wars," June 9, 1998–October 4, 1998.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "As It Happened: Photographs from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 7, 2002–August 25, 2002.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.
Heilbrun, Françoise, and Musée d'Orsay. Musée d'Orsay : chefs-d'œuvre de la collection photographique. RMN ed. Paris, 1986. p. 176.