Hans Bellmer's Fragmented Females

Erotica // Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013
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Hans Bellmer, a German artist (1902-1975), was best known for the life-sized juvenile female dolls that he created in the mid-1930’s. Bellmer constructed his first doll—"an artificial girl with multiple anatomical possibilities," he said—in 1933 in Berlin. He created it under the erotic spell of his young cousin Ursula, but he was also inspired by Jacques Offenbach's fantasy opera Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann, 1880), in which the hero, maddened by love for an uncannily lifelike automaton, ends up committing suicide. Bellmer lived the rest of his life in Paris after the war. Bellmer retired his art of doll-making and dedicated the following decades creating erotic drawings, etchings,sexually-explicit photographs, paintings, and prints of pubescent girls.

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