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Picnic (Nusch Eluard, Paul Eluard, Roland Penrose, Man Ray, Ady Fidelin)

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© Lee Miller Archives, England 2019. All rights reserved.

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Picnic (Nusch Eluard, Paul Eluard, Roland Penrose, Man Ray, Ady Fidelin)

by Lee Miller
gelatin silver print, 1937 (2012)
8 in. x 7 3/4 in. (203 mm x 197 mm) image size
Given by Chris Beetles Fine Photographs, 2013
Photographs Collection
NPG x137400

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

  • Lee Miller (1907-1977), Photographer. Artist or producer associated with 17 portraits, Sitter in 13 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Artist, writer on art, poet and collector, Roland Penrose was the instigator of the International Surrealist Exhibition held in London at the New Burlington Galleries in 1936. The work of European Surrealists including André Breton and Man Ray, were shown alongside British artists such as Paul Nash, Henry Moore and Eileen Agar. Penrose met American-born photographer and photojournalist Lee Miller (1907-77) in Paris in 1937, and this photograph depicts them on holiday with friends at Mougins in the South of France. Miller later moved to London with Penrose, and in 1940 she became British Vogue's first female war correspondent and photojournalist. Miller and Penrose married in 1947, and their friendship with Man Ray continued all their lives. Penrose's biography of Man Ray was published in 1975, and in that year he organised with Mario Amaya the exhibition Man Ray: Inventor-Painter-Poet at the Cultural Centre, New York and ICA London.

Placesback to top

  • Place made and portrayed: France (Ile Sainte-Marguerite, Cannes, France)

Events of 1937back to top

Current affairs

George VI becomes king. The younger brother of Edward VIII was crowned on the 12th May and the coronation was broadcast to Britain and the Empire on the radio. Edward becomes the Duke of Windsor, although the rank of 'Royal Highness' is not extended to Wallis Simpson.
Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister following Baldwin's retirement.

Art and science

Roland Penrose organises a tour of Picasso's painting Guernica to the UK. The painting, which shows the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, went on display at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in East London


Commercial airship travel is brought to an end with the 'Hindenberg Disaster'. The German airship exploded while landing in New Jersey. The radio broadcaster Herbert Morrison's reaction has become legendary: 'Oh, the humanity!'
Japan invades China, killing about 25,000. Japanese Troops committed numerous atrocities against soldiers and civilians in what became known as the 'Rape of Nanking'.

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