1879 - 1901
1901 - 1911
1911 - 1919
1919 - 1938
1938 - 1945
1945 - 1964

Gustav Klimt
Alexander Zemlinsky
Gustav Mahler
Walter Gropius
Dr. Paul Kammerer
Oskar Kokoschka
Franz Werfel
Johannes Hollnsteiner

Alma the composer
Kokoschka's Alma portraits

Alma Fetish

The Puppet
Reserl (Chamber Maid)
Emil Jakob Schindler, father
Anna von Bergen, mother
Carl Moll, stepfather
Maria Anna Mahler, daughter
Anna Mahler, daughter
Manon Gropius, daughter
Martin Carl Johannes, son
Berta Zuckerkandl
Max Burckhard
Bruno Walter
Sigmund Freud
Gerhart Hauptmann
Lili Leiser
Hanns Martin Elster
August Hess
Georg Moenius
  Alma & Venice
Alma & Lisbon
Alma & Los Angeles
Alma & Jerusalem
Alma & New York

The Puppet

Oskar Kokoschka über die Puppe (0,4 MB)

In July I9I8 Oskar Kokoschka ordered a life-size doll from the Munich doll-maker Hermine Moos as a substitute for his lost love. It was to be made to look exactly like Alma Mahler. On July 22 he already returned a model of the head, having checked it and made suggestions as to how the work should proceed. "If you are able to carry out this task as I would wish, to deceive me with such magic that when I see it and touch it imagine that I have the woman of my dreams in front of me, then dear Fräulein Moos, I will be eternally indebted to your skills of invention and your womanly sensitivity as you may already have deduced from the discussion we had."

Kokoschka's letter to Hermine Moos Study for "Woman in blue" (1919)
left: Kokoschka's letter to Hermine Moos
right: Study for "Woman in blue" (1919)

The doll was not finished until the second half of February 1919. On February 22 Kokoschka asked to have the doll sent to him. The ensuing disappointment was huge. The doll could scarcely fulfil Kokoschka’s erotic and sexual desires and in the end became no more than a kind of still-life model. The artist then took the place of the unhappy lover and by means of a painterly (and graphic) metamorphosis of the doll he breathed new life into Alma as a "figure of art”.

"Devotion" (1918)   Hermine Moos with the puppet
left: "Devotion" (1918)
right: Hermine Moos with the puppet

When Kokoschka was questioned on the matter of his fetish in I93I/32, he came straight to the point: "Finally, after I had drawn it and painted it over and over again, I decided to do away with it. It had managed to cure me completely of my Passion. So I gave a big champagne Party with chamber music, during which my maid Hulda exhibited the doll in all its beautiful clothes for the last time. When dawn broke - I was quite drunk, as was everyone else - I beheaded it out in the garden and broke a bottle-of red wine over its head.”

... read more about "The Puppet"


Die Alma Puppe
Above: The Puppet
Right: Oskar Kokoschka:
Girl with Doll (1921/22)
Reserl Kokoschka