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Fidel Castro

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Image of Fidel Castro

Yousuf Karsh
Canadian, born Armenia, 1908–2002

Fidel Castro


Object Type: Photograph
20 in. x 16 in. (50.8 cm x 40.64 cm)
Medium and Support: Gelatin silver print on paper
Accession Number: 2013.0005.0008

Credit Line: Gift of Estrellita Karsh, in honor of Mark M. Johnson, and in memory of Yousuf Karsh
Copyright: © Estate of Yousuf Karsh

Fidel Castro (1926–2016)

This close-up portrait reveals the intensity of Cuba’s revolutionary communist President. Castro’s eyes are particularly imposing. As usual, he wears his army fatigues and cap. When he arrived for his portrait sitting in Cuba he removed his ever-present belt and pistol. Thus started a three-hour session punctuated with breaks for rum and Coca-Cola. Castro asked Karsh about his experience photographing Helen Keller, George Bernard Shaw, Churchill, Camus, Cocteau, and Hemingway, whose home in Havana is a shrine. Karsh later remarked that he was “impressed that Castro—a revolutionary—should have made room in his life for these creative luminaries.”

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