|Gelatin silver print (toned), 1930s|
With the photographer's blindstamp recto and the wetstamp "Please return / to / Ram Gopal" verso.
Van Vechten (1903 to 1964) became renowned for his writings, his support of many figures of the Harlem Renaissance, his social and artistic connections, and his photographs. His portraits included such artistic and literary luminaries as F. Scott Fitgerald, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Marc Chagall, Georgia O'keefe, Marlon Brando, Alfred Stieglitz and Truman Capote.
Always interested in dance, Van Vechten probably took this portrait in the 1930s when Ram Gopal was visiting the United States. Gopal, dubbed "The Indian Nijisky", became known in Europe for his beauty, grace and the authenticity of his performances. He successfully toured in Asia with the American dancer La Meri, and in the 1930s went to the United States and then London. He continued performing into the 1960s.
This portrait was in Gopal's own collection.