Hans Bellmer - Les mains (The Hands) - image-1

Lot 708 D

Hans Bellmer - Les mains (The Hands)

Auction 1013 - overview Cologne
25.05.2013, 11:30 - Modern Art May 25 2013
Estimate: 12.000 € - 15.000 €
Result: 24.400 € (incl. premium)

Pencil and watercolour on firm wove paper 40.1 x 17.6 cm, framed under glass. Signed 'Bellmer' lower right. Verso on frame card gallery and exhibition labels from Galerie Krugier et Cie, New York (with registration no. 3083), Albert Loeb and Krugier, New York, Annely Juda Fine Art, London, Kunsthalle Bern and Galerie Dieter Brusberg, Hanover.

Bellmer had already established contact with the French Surrealists in the early thirties, while he was still in Berlin. Their influence can be seen in this drawing with watercolour, which is executed with the precision of an old master and also reveals the influence of art nouveau and Mannerism. Bellmer's hallucinatory-ecstatic style manifests itself in the use of colour: the washed-out yellowish brown, the clear violet and the breath of turquoise, together with their delicate nuances and transitions, underscore the sensual aspect of the work. The motif and the application of colour awaken associations with death and sexuality, maliciousness is hinted at, dream images are envisioned. Like a palindrome, the motif may be read from every side.


We would like to thank Rodica Aldoux, Paris, for kind and confirmatory information dated 16 April 2013.


Galerie Krugier et Cie, New York; Albert Loeb and Krugier, New York; Galerie Krugier, Geneva (reverse label from Kunsthalle Bern, loan Krugier); Annely Juda Fine Art, London; Galerie Dieter Brusberg, Hanover (ca. 1976?); acquired there by the present owner