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The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)

Marcel Duchamp (American (born France), 1887–1968)

In the fall of 1912, Marcel Duchamp abandoned conventional painting and set about inventing new ways of working as an artist. Soon he was planning The Large Glass, and in 1915 he embarked on the eight-year process of fabricating the monumental construction. It is a compendium of Duchamp’s artistic obsessions: sexuality, chance, machines, humor, language games, and the workings of pictorial illusion. In the upper half of the picture, the Bride, a machine-insect hybrid, disrobes and exudes an erotic perfume. Permanently cut off from her in the lower zone are nine mannequin-like Bachelors, who respond by producing their own sexual gases which are then processed through an assortment of mechanical devices.

At an unknown point in the late 1920s or early 1930s, the fragile piece partially shattered in transit. Duchamp restored the sculpture in 1936. He later declared the symmetrical pattern of cracks an improvement. In 1954, he helped to oversee the work’s permanent installation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Object Details

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