Dovima – Richard Avedon´s Muse

Dovima (1927-1990) was reputed to be the highest-paid model of her time. Richard Avedon (1923 – 2004) was an American fashion and portrait photographer. An obituary published in The New York Times said that:

“his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century”

Dovima was the muse of Richard Avedon who depicted her, in a legendary photograph posing in a Christian Dior evening dress with elephants from the Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, in 1955.

In 2010, a record price of £719,000 was achieved at Christie’s for a unique seven-foot-high print of the photo. This particular print, the largest of this image, was made in 1978 for Avedon’s fashion retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and was bought by Maison Christian Dior.

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Richard Avedon, Dovima with elephants,

evening dress by Christian Dior, Cirque d Hiver, August 1955

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Richard Avedon, Dovima with elephants,

evening dress by Christian Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, August 1955

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Dovima, dress by Claire McCardell, Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, January 1951

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Richard Avedon, Dovima dress by Claire McCardell, Egypt, January 1952

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Richard Avedon, Dovima wearing a Leopard fur coat by Bernham-Stein, 1950.

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Richard Avedon, Dovima, Harper’s Bazaar, 1950

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Richard Avedon, Dovima, evening dress by Jacques Fath, Paris, August 1950.

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