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Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris

A work made of gelatin silver print.
Copyright © The Richard Avedon Foundation.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


August 1955, printed 1979


Richard Avedon
American, 1923–2004

About this artwork

Richard Avedon characterized his improvised approach to fashion photography as “a vacation from life.” Dovima with Elephants originally appeared in a 14-page story on Paris fashions published in the September 1955 issue of Harper’s Bazaar (where Avedon was staff photographer from 1946 to 1965). Avedon photographed the model known as Dovima (born Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba) in a studio and various Paris locations, including the Cirque d’Hiver, where this image was shot. He later recounted, “I saw the elephants under an enormous skylight… . I then had to find the right dress and I knew there was a potential here for a kind of dream image.” The dress chosen was in fact the first design for Dior by 19-year-old Yves Saint Laurent. In the photograph Dovima appears poised and fearless, her sinuous contours echoing those of the massive pachyderms she seems to command.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Richard Avedon


Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris


United States (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 1955


Gelatin silver print


13 of 50


Image: 59.5 × 47.9 cm (23 7/16 × 18 7/8 in.); Paper: 60.5 × 51 cm (23 7/8 × 20 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation

Reference Number



Copyright © The Richard Avedon Foundation.

Extended information about this artwork

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