In his nightmarish tableaux of mutilated and reassembled dolls posed in domestic interiors, Bellmer grappled with the base condition of the human body and with the bodily fragment as fetish object. Mannequins and dolls—simultaneously familiar and strange—supplied the material for his primal expressions of terror and awe, which often evoked the innocent violence and latent sexuality of childhood games. Whether they are read as Freudian emblems of the uncanny or as ominous harbingers of Nazi atrocities, Bellmer’s images exemplify the Surrealist view of the female body as the source of simultaneous fascination and revulsion.
Inscription: Signed in pencil on mount, verso LC: "Bellmer"; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso LC: "Hans Bellmer, Plate XIV // Edition 034 // Le Jeux de les Poupee"
[Robert Miller Gallery, New York]; John C. Waddell, New York (March 21, 1981)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 11," November 13, 1995–March 11, 1996.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Naked before the Camera," March 27, 2012–September 9, 2012.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photographs. "Grand Illusions: Staged Photography from the Collection," August 10, 2015–November 15, 2015.
This print is plate XIV from Les Jeux de la Poupée, Paris: Éditions Premières (Heinz Berggruen), 1949. It is number 34 of an edition of 36.