Philippe Halsman, ‘Jean Cocteau (Multiple hands)’, 1950, Heritage Auctions
Philippe Halsman, ‘Jean Cocteau (Multiple hands)’, 1950, Heritage Auctions
Philippe Halsman, ‘Jean Cocteau (Multiple hands)’, 1950, Heritage Auctions

Condition Report: Sheet measures 9-1/2 x 7 inches; cornered in to a window mat; a few reverse indentations near the upper edge related to typewritten note on verso; minor discoloration to the upper left margin and one pinhead sized accretion to the lower margin, not affecting the image; to small crescent creases center right, most noticeable in raking light.

Signature: The Magnum Photo's Inc. stamp on verso.

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

About Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman was at one point considered the best photo-portraitist in France. He had an incessant interest in faces: “Every face I see seems to hide—and sometimes fleetingly reveal—the mystery of another human being.” Halsman’s photographs of politicians, celebrities, and intellectuals were featured widely in magazines like LIFE and Vogue. His more famous subjects included the likes of Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, Audrey Hepburn, and Albert Einstein. He also had a 37-year collaboration with Salvador Dalí, which resulted in several famous surrealist series including the “Dalí’s Mustache” portraits. In the 1950s, Halsman began asking his sitters to jump in front of the camera, because he noticed that doing so paradoxically seemed to relax people. With his background in engineering, Halsman also made groundbreaking photographic inventions, including a twin-lens reflex camera that allowed the operator to see his sitter through a viewfinder.

Latvian, 1906-1979, Riga, Latvia, based in Paris, France