This photograph by Man Ray (Philadelphia, 1890 – Paris, 1976) was purchased by Cerruti in 1996 at the auction of the collection belonging to the American Dadaist’s widow Juliet Man Ray. It is a portrait of Harry E. Melvill, an Oxford-educated barrister and a lively member of the social and artistic scene in London and
Paris at the turn of the last century. A friend of Oscar Wilde and Jean Cocteau and an acquaintance of Marcel Proust, he worked for British intelligence during World War I. In this photograph, now aged about 60, Melvill covers his face and displays the slender, elegant hands that also feature in his portrait of a few decades earlier by the French painter Jacques-Émile Blanche (1904, University College). Only two other authenticated prints are known, one of which is owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.