Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Image of Poupée atop Broken Wicker Chair 9650

1986.34

Artist

Hans Bellmer

Title

Poupée atop Broken Wicker Chair

Creation Date

ca. 1935

Century

20th century

Dimensions

5 11/16 in. x 5 9/16 in. (14.4 cm. x 14.2 cm.)

Object Type

photograph

Creation Place

Europe, German

Medium and Support

gelatin silver print

Credit Line

Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund

Copyright

This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

1986.34
Hans Bellmer created two different versions of a disjointed, anatomically incorrect poupée (doll) which he would deconstruct and reassemble into various suggestive and disturbing poses. This was meant as a radical liberation, a breaking of taboos, and an exploration of the conflicting yet entwined impulses of desire and violence. Bellmer often used a layering technique as old as photography itself, applying hand-coloring to his black and white prints to heighten their shocking effects. Part of Bellmer’s motivation in creating such extreme images was the oppressive society in which he found himself as Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany: “If the origin of my work is scandalous, it is because, for me, the world is a scandal.”

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