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
- Richard Avedon
- Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris
- United States
- Gelatin silver print, edition 13/50
- 59.5 x 47.9 cm (image); 60.5 x 51 cm (paper)
- Gift of the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation
- Copyright © The Richard Avedon Foundation.