BELLMER, Hans (1902-1975). Les jeux de la poupée. Text by Paul Eluard. Paris: Les Éditions Premières, 1949.
Quarto (248 x 194 mm). 15 hand-coloured gelatin silver prints, and a small hand-coloured cut-out mounted on the title-page. (Edges lightly yellowed.) Original dark grey card wrappers, small hand-coloured photographic cut-out mounted on the front cover, printed label on the spine, with the printed wraparound band (spine lightly and evenly faded, light wear at the spine ends); glassine.
FIRST EDITION OF THIS SURREALIST LANDMARK. A VERY GOOD COPY IN THE ORIGINAL WRAPPERS, WITH 15 HAND-COLOURED PHOTOGRAPHS BY BELLMER. 'Bellmer's influence on later image-makers, from Frederick Sommer and Ralph Eugene Meatyard to Cindy Sherman, is considerable' (101 Books). Actually begun in 1936-1937, but delayed by the war, Les Jeux de la Poupée was conceived entirely by Bellmer: from carving the doll, to designing the book's maquette and lay-out, and hand-colouring every photograph. It is a profound investigation of the nature of desire. Bellmer once remarked that 'such and such detail, like a leg, is perceptible, accessible and available to memory, in short is real, only if Desire does not fatally take it merely to be a leg. Any object identical to itself remains without reality'. It is desire that makes things real, and in these photographs Bellmer embarks on a 'game' of assembling and disassembling his creation, placing her in various settings, introducing tension, unease or foreboding in order to heighten the erotic charge, to introduce desire in the viewer and make his surreal scenes real. One of 142 copies only, this one signed by Bellmer and numbered 120. Eros invaincu 115; 101 Books, pp.88-9; The Photobook, vol. I, pp. 106-07. See also back cover illustration.