(The Good Times)
Man Ray's painting Le beau temps (The Good Times), dated 1939, was inspired by Elsa Schiaparelli's Spring 1939 Haute Couture collection on the theme of the Commedia dell'Arte. The character in geometrical forms depicted on this canvas referenced the patchwork harlequin coat in the collection. It was composed of wool felt diamonds in blue, black, red, yellow and white.
In addition, the head of the harlequin painted by Man Ray sensitively recalled the bottle in the form of a lit candle, with its conical snuffer, that Schiaparelli had designed for the perfume Sleeping in 1938.
Sleeping, the Comedia dell'Arte and Le beau temps (The Good Times) are, all three, ironic allusions to the very unstable political situation which preceded the Second World War due to the rise of Nazism.
© MAN RAY TRUST / Adagp, Paris 2016
akg-images / Jean-Claude Varga