Nickolas Muray (15 February 1892 -
2 November 1965) was a Hungarian-born American photographer and Olympic fencer.
Muray attended a graphic arts school in Budapest, where he studied lithography, photoengraving, and photography. In 1913, with the threat of war in Europe, Muray sailed to New York City.
Muray quickly became recognized as an important portrait photographer, and his subjects included most of the celebrities of New York City. In 1926, Vanity Fair sent Muray to London, Paris, and Berlin to photograph celebrities, and in 1929 hired him to photograph movie stars in Hollywood. He also did fashion and advertising work. Muray's images were published in many other publications, including Vogue, Ladies' Home Journal, and The New York Times.
Between 1920 and 1940, Nickolas Muray made over 10,000 portraits. His 1938's portrait of Frida Kaho, made while Kahlo sojourned in New York, attending her exhibit at the Julien Levy Gallery, became the best known and loved portrait made by Muray.
Resplandor (Spanish), meaning “The Brilliant, The Glowing”.
Original from Salina de Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico. Salina de Cruz is of “Zapotec” ethnicity, one of the most important pre-columbian cultures. The dresses that Frida Kahlo used to wear and paint come from this area and ethnical culture.
The Resplandor is a typical headdress of the Tehuana women in the province of Oaxaca, Mexico. The pleated part fits tightly around the face, the Resplandor is hand made in white lace with colored satin ribbons and starched, white pleated ruffles.
Two “Resplandor” are in the Frida Kahlo collection.
“Being able to have and exhibit the two “Resplandor” is of high cultural and artistic value. To our knowledge no museum in Europe has even shown such pieces before”, said Mr. Gehrke, Museum Director of the Kunstmuseum Gehrke-Remund, Germany.
Frida Kahlo painted herself wearing the “Resplandor” in two of her self- portraits.
She started painting the fist one in 1940, the year of her divorce from Diego Rivera: “Self-portrait as a Tehuana or Diego in my thoughts”, eight years later she painted the second one “Self-portrait, 1948”.
Both paintings (hand painted licensed replicas from © Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008) can be seen, next to the “Resplandor”.