In the early 1970s Warhol began to accept regular commissions to paint the portraits of the rich and famous. However, as well as commissions, Warhol painted a number of portraits of people he admired, especially other artists. Man Ray, the American photographer and Dada artist, was one of his heroes, so much so that, when he could afford it, Warhol acquired a number of his photographs, paintings and early books. This portrait-diptych of Man Ray is based on a Polaroid photograph he took of him, cigar in mouth, in 1973. As with the portraits of his mother and other people he felt close to, these portraits of Man Ray are among the most painterly and heavily-worked Warhol ever painted.