Hans Bellmer

(1902 - 1975)
Hans Bellmer La Poupée [The Doll] 1933 - 1935 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017.


German-French artist Hans Bellmer studied engineering in Berlin from 1922 to 1924, but gave up to work as a typographer and bookbinder. In 1933 he made his first doll, an articulated figure of a young girl, based on his fifteen-year-old cousin Ursula and on memories of his adolescent sexual encounters. The following year he published a collection of ten photographs of the doll, which were welcomed by the Surrealists for the way in which they broke sexual taboos and released repressed desires. From 1946 Bellmer produced a series of meticulously executed drawings and etchings developing the theme of violent eroticism.