when a fire starts to burn
Anonymous Photographer, Munich 1919
In 1918, four years after the painful separation from Alma Mahler, Oskar Kokoschka ordered a life-size model of his former lover from Munich based puppet maker Hermine Moos. In 12 letters and many drawings the artist described in great detail what his substitute Alma had to look and feel like. After six months of work Moos’ piece was finished and she sent the doll to Kokoschka in Dresden. The artist was horrified, but finally decided to keep the »silent woman«, as he and his maid used to call the doll. He ended up using it as a model for several of his paintings. There are three images known as the only photographs showing the Alma-doll, which Kokoschka finally soused with wine and destroyed during a party in 1921. The pictures were taken in March 1919 in Hermine Moos workshop in Munich.