What happens when an artist drops his brush or a photographer lowers his camera to pose for a portrait by a colleague? We investigated and found a snap of a young Nan Goldin, pre-fame and sans blouse, Francis Bacon’s face deconstructed by the strokes of Lucian Freud, and Picasso romping around in a big blond wig for Brassaï. Often starkly casual peeks, these portraits are brimming with a friendly intimacy and professional camaraderie. Take a look at some of our favorite cultural figures as models in the slide show.
Diane Arbus by Roz Kelly
This was shot in 1968, three years before her tragic suicide.
Nan Goldin by Alan Metnick
This was shot in 1974, before her career breakthrough.
Pablo Picasso and Jean Marais by Brassaï
This is Pablo Picasso satirically posing as a painter of a painting that he didn’t really paint, something bought from an antique dealer for the sake of mocking “academic” painting with Jean Cocteau’s muse Jean Marais posing as “a model.”
Francis Bacon by Lucien Freud
An unfinished portrait, a jaded subject. “I would wish my portraits to be of the people, not like them,” Freud has said.
Cindy Sherman by Richard Prince, Richard Prince as Cindy Sherman
For this 1980 series credited to Richard Prince, the diva of self-portraits becomes a subject herself; Richard Prince dons flattering drag as Cindy Sherman taking her own self-portrait. How meta.
Andy Warhol by Julian Schnabel
Warhol famously said that Schnabel “goes around to other artists’ studios to find things to copy,” but there was also this.
Jean-Michel Basquiat by Francesco Clemente and…
Francesco Clemente by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Henri Matisse by Brassaï
This was shot in 1939.
Gustav Klimt by Egon Schiele
This painting of Klimt by his protégé was done in 1913.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir by Frédéric Bazille
Painted in 1867. Bazille, who was wealthier than his Impressionist pals Renoir, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Édouard Manet, allowed them to share his studio space.
Pablo Picasso by Amedeo Modigliani
This was painted in 1915. According to legend, when Modigliani first met the famed Spanish painter, he said that Picasso’s genius “did not excuse his uncouth appearance.”
Salvador Dalí by Man Ray
This portrait made it to the cover of TIME Magazine.
Michelangelo by Jacopino del Conte
This was painted after 1535, when the Italian Renaissance master was 60 years old.