Hans Bellmer
The Doll c.1937–8

Artwork details

Hans Bellmer 1902–1975
The Doll
La Poupée
Date c.1937–8
Medium Photographs, black and white, and ink on paper
Dimensions Support: 185 x 752 mm
frame: 211 x 781 x 18 mm
Acquisition Presented anonymously through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1978
Not on display

Display caption

Bellmer’s fetishistic Doll sculptures were partly inspired by Jacques Offenbach’s opera The Tales of Hoffmann, in which the hero falls in love with a mechanical doll. Photographs of the doll were published in 1934 in the surrealist journal Minotaure. With their explorations of voyeurism and sadism, the photographs soon became as important as the sculpture itself. This set of hand-coloured images were taken at the same time as (and closely resemble) those which Bellmer published as The Games of the Doll, accompanied by fourteen short prose poems by the surrealist poet Paul Eluard.

December 2013

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