John Marin and Alfred Stieglitz

Artist: Marius de Zayas (Mexican, Veracruz 1880–1961 Stamford, Connecticut)

Date: ca. 1912–13

Medium: Charcoal and graphite on paper

Dimensions: 24 3/4 x 18 5/8 in. (62.9 x 47.3 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949

Accession Number: 49.70.183


John Marin and Alfred Stieglitz is one of several double-portraits by de Zayas. The image of Rodin and Steichen reproduced in Camera Work (in the nearby vitrine) is another. Both were included in de Zayas's third, and last, one-man show at "291," in April-May 1913, where he exhibited eighteen large caricatures that he categorized as either "absolute" (abstract) or "relative" (representational); these two qualified as the latter. The pairings he chose allowed him to comment upon some of the internal alliances within the Stieglitz circle. In this case, Stieglitz, looking robust and self-satisfied, stands next to the sharply angled figure of his good friend John Marin (1870-1953), a master watercolorist whose work he heartily promoted. As in their personal and professional lives, the two seem tethered by a line that here runs from the top of Stieglitz's head to the tip of Marin's nose and back to Stieglitz's pocket.