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    Sale 2252

    Icons of Glamour and Style: The Constantiner Collection

    16 - 17 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1

    ANDRE DE DIENES (1913-1985)

    Marilyn Monroe, Tobey Beach, Long Island, New York, 1949

    Price Realised  


    ANDRE DE DIENES (1913-1985)
    Marilyn Monroe, Tobey Beach, Long Island, New York, 1949
    gelatin silver print
    credited, titled, dated in ink and copyright credit reproduction limitation stamps (on the verso)
    13 x 11in. (32.9 x 27.8cm.)

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    Staley-Wise Gallery, New York;
    acquired 1999.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Norma Jeane seemed to me like an angel. I could hardly believe it. An earthly sexy-looking angel! Sent expressly for me! -- André de Dienes


    de Dienes, Marilyn Mon Amour, Filipacci, 1985, pp. 8-9, 90-113 for an account of and variant images from this shoot, made in the summer of 1949 on Tobey beach near New York.


    Marilyn Monroe: Photographs from the Collection of Michaela and Leon Constantiner, Tel Aviv Museum, Israel, May 13 - September 25, 2004;
    I Wanna Be Loved By You: Photographs of Marilyn Monroe from the Leon and Michaela Constantiner Collection, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, November 12, 2004 - April 3, 2005, Toledo Museum of Art and Bass Museum of Art.

    Post Lot Text

    André de Dienes came to the US from central Europe in 1938. He settled in California and here, in the wide-open landscapes and under the near-constant sunshine, he made a speciality of plein-air photography of the nude. His encounter with one particular young model was an epiphany.

    He recounts how he called a lady model agent he knew, Emiline Sniverly who had the Blue Book Model Agency at the Ambassador Hotel, and explained to her that he was back in Hollywood again and needed models for photos of nudes, artistic nudes for a new project he had in mind. Miss Sniverly said there was a pretty girl in her office, waiting for her first modelling assignment, who had just started in the profession and perhaps would pose for nudes. Miss Sniverly said she would send the young lady to see him right away and that her name was Norma Jeane Baker.

    De Dienes recorded their meeting in his diary: 'When Norma Jeane arrived in my bungalow later in the afternoon, it was as if a miracle had happened to me. From the instant I looked at her and we began to talk, her voice, her smile, her beautiful blue eyes revived in my mind Krisztina, the maid in Transylvania whom I loved so much. Norma Jeane was like the spitting image of Krisztina (except that she was only 19). Her movements, her vitality, her enthusiasm, her entire counternance reflecting purity of soul, and honesty, were exactly like Krisztina's. Even her outbursting laughter seemed the same! Norma Jeane seemed to me like an angel into my memory! I could hardly believe it for a few moments. An earthly sexy-looking angel! Sent expressly for me!' -- André de Dienes (from his personal diary for 1945, spelling and punctuation rationalised)