History of Photography


Introduction History of Photography (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

A World History of Photography (by Naomi Rosenblum)

The Story Behind the Pictures 1827-1991 (by Hans-Michael Koetzle)

Photographers' Dictionary
(based on "20th Century Photography - Museum Ludwig Cologne")


 

 



Photographers' Dictionary

(based on "20th Century Photography-Museum Ludwig Cologne")

 
 

 

 


Hans Bellmer

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Hans Bellmer (13 March 1902 Katowice, Silesia, 23 February 1975 Paris, France) was an artist, best known for the life-sized pubescent female dolls he produced in the mid-1930s. He is also commonly thought of, in the art world, as a Surrealist photographer.
Since 1926 he had been working as a draftsman for his own advertising company. He initiated his doll project to oppose the fascism of the Nazi Party by declaring that he would make no work that would support the new German state. Represented by mutated forms and unconventional poses, his dolls were directed specifically at the cult of the perfect body then prominent in Germany. Bellmer was influenced in his choice of art form by reading the published letters of Oskar Kokoschka (Der Fetisch, 1925).
Bellmer's doll project is also said to have been catalysed by a series of events in his personal life, including meeting a beautiful teenage cousin in 1932 - and perhaps other unattainable beauties; and attending a performance of Jacques Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann (in which a man falls tragically in love with an automaton); and receiving a box of his old toys. After these events he began to actually construct his first doll. In his works, Bellmer explicitly sexualized the doll as a young girl. On the other hand, the doll incorporated the principle of "ball joint" , which was inspired by a pair of sixteenth-century articulated wooden dolls in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum.
He visited Paris in 1935 and made contacts there such as Paul Éluard, but returned to Berlin because his wife Margarete was dying of tuberculosis.
Bellmer's 1934 anonymous book The Doll (Die Puppe), produced and published privately in Germany, contains 10 black-and-white photographs of Bellmer's first doll arranged in a series of "tableaux vivants" (living pictures). The book was not credited to him, he worked in isolation, and his photographs remained almost unknown in Germany. Yet Bellmer's work was eventually declared "degenerate" by the Nazi Party, and he was forced to flee Germany to France in 1938.
His work was welcomed in the Parisian art culture of the time, especially the Surrealists under André Breton, because of the references to female beauty and the sexualization of the youthful form. His photographs were published in the Surrealist journal Minotaure.
He aided the resistance during the war, making fake passports; and was imprisoned in the Camp des Milles prison at Aix-en-Provence for most of World War II.
After the war, Bellmer lived the rest of his life in Paris. Bellmer gave up doll making, and spent the following decades creating erotic drawings, etchings, sexually explicit photographs, paintings and prints of pubescent girls. In 1954 he met Unica Zürn, who became his companion. He continued making work into the 1960s.

 


Self Portrait




The Doll



(Poupee)


1936-1965


 

Les Jeux de la Poupee, Les Editions Premieres, Paris1949




 


La Poupee (The Doll)
1936

 





 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 

La demie poupee 
1971



 


The Machine-Gunneress in a State of Grace
1937


The Machine-Gunneress in a State of Grace
1937





 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 




 

 

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