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A work made of gelatin silver print.
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




Hans Bellmer
German, born Poland, 1902–1975

About this artwork

Across his lengthy career Hans Bellmer worked in sculpture, photography, drawing, printmaking, and writing, but his main source of fascination remained consistent: the doll. He constructed his first doll in 1933, inspired by a combination of childhood nostalgia and obscene fantasy. The result was a life-size assemblage of interchangeable body parts adorned with girlish garments and wigs. Bellmer, who had worked as a graphic designer, arguably deployed his erotic imaginings against the conventions of advertising as well as the Nazi obsession with hardened male bodies and the idealized physique. He began obsessively deconstructing, reconstructing, and photographing his doll and publishing the prints in art books and magazines. Encouraged by the Surrealists, who praised his work, Bellmer began a second doll two years later, a version of which is shown in this photograph; it can be seen as provocatively feminine and childish, or disturbingly dismembered and incomplete.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Hans Bellmer




Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1935


Gelatin silver print


Unmarked recto; inscribed verso, lower left, in graphite: "#3155-C"; verso, lower center, in graphite: "12" [encircled]


Image: 13.9 × 13.6 cm (5 1/2 × 5 3/8 in.); Paper: 14.4 × 14.2 cm (5 11/16 × 5 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg

Reference Number



© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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