Jan 2, 2015
May 25, 2010

Shakespearean Equation: Hamlet

Shakespearean Equation: Hamlet


Man Ray

(American, 1890-1976)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 55.9 x 66 x 3.9 cm (22 x 26 x 1 9/16 in.); Unframed: 40.5 x 51 cm (15 15/16 x 20 1/16 in.)

Bequest of Lockwood Thompson 1992.301



In 1934, Man Ray photographed a collection of three-dimensional mathematical objects at the Institute Henry Poincaré in Paris. These photographs became the basis for Ray's Shakespearean Equation painting series. Ray's paintings of the mathematical objects emphasize their form through dramatic contrasts of light and dark, while also imbuing the objects with human-like qualities. Here, Ray's painting from a tetrahedron model photograph is entitled Hamlet. The shape of the tetrahedron is suggestive of female anatomy, perhaps referencing Hamlet's fraught relationships with women.

See also
American - Painting
Type of artwork: 
Oil on canvas

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.