Martial Raysse has explored the genre of portraiture over the course of his entire career. At the heart of many of his paintings, from Belle de nuages (1965) to Radieuse de nuages (1962), or his more recent Lancelot (2014) is a reflection on the face as a mask, a psychological study of character, its connection with poetic creation, its ironic and symbolic inflections, its splitting and constant disguise. The portraits and self portraits, like fragments of a story often immersed in its own mystery, are also preparatory studies for the artist’s monumental and allegorical compositions.