Lotte Pritzel. Dolls for the showcase.

Lotte Pritzel. Art doll Artist. Art Deco costume dolls.
Lotte Pritzel

Lotte Pritzel. Dolls for the showcase.

Lotte Pritzel (Charlotte Pagel) 1887 Breslau – †1952 Berlin.

The text given here has its origin in a free translation of the German wikipedia entry about Lotte Pritzel. The images come almost all of the original publications from the period of her activity and in accordance with the print quality of the time. One may regrets and want better quality, however, correspond exactly this grainy shots with the glamorous, morbid chic of this beautiful and rarely seen dolls.

Lotte Pritzel, called “The Cougar” belonged to the Munich Bohème and frequented artistic circles which brought together the Simplicissimus, before she moved to Berlin. Karl Zuckmayer reported in As if it were a piece of me, a stay at Lotte Pritzel and her husband, Dr. Gerhard Pagel: “I arrived at Lotte Pritzel, Mirls best friend, whose genius puppet-creatures at that time long feature articles and essays were written, delicate wax and fabric structure of refined elegance, with always a depraved childlike expression, as some forms of Beardsley. Away from the obscene and thus more appealing, even for solid buyer. […] Many nights I heard them, when in her studio, on the sewing table under adorable silk and cambric, sat on my manuscripts […], the two from the next room – in that bright on brain intoxication that the white powder irresistible for the addict does – talk, argue and muttering to each other. “

From Lotte Pritzels dolls that were sold to the United States, very many copies have not survived. Four advertising characters that they produced about 1912 on behalf of Hermann Bahlsen, are among the works Pritzels that are not lost. They were seen in Berlin as part of the exhibition “The doll artist and costume designer Lotte Pritzel” 2002/2003.

Her artist dolls and possibly their lithography cycle “Dance – movements and costumes” of 1919 inspired dancers such as Anita Berber or Niddy Impekoven, as a costume designer she occurred mainly in the 1920s in appearance. So she equipped in 1925 about the actors in Klabund “Chalk Circle” and in Heinrich von Kleist’s Cathy of Heilbronn.

Also Rainer Maria Rilke’s text “On the pupae of the Lotte Pritzel”, published in 1921 with illustrations by the artist, is one of the handed down products of Lotte Pritzel.

1923 turned the UFA a documentary entitled: The Pritzelpuppe.

Dolls for the showcase. Published 1911.

Dolls for the showcase. Lotte Pritzel. Art doll Artist. Art Deco costume dolls.
Dolls for the showcase
Portrait Lotte Pritzel 1916. Portrait by Hanns Holdt
Lotte Pritzel 1916. Portrait by Hanns Holdt

New wax dolls by Lotte Pritzel. Published in 1914.


  • On Dolls by Kenneth Gross.
  • German Art and Decoration, Vol 29, Darmstadt 1912.
  • Erich Mühsam, Tagebücher 1910 – 1924
  • Bachelors by Rosalind Krauss (October Books)
  • Surrealism and Women. Mary Ann Caws, Rudolf Kuenzli and Gwen Raaberg, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991.
  • Cat. Lotte Pritzel 1887 – 1952, puppets of vice and ecstasy, Munich City Museum, 1987. (Lotte Pritzel Puppen des Lasters des Grauens und der Ekstase)
  • Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration. Wohnungskunst, Malerei, Plastik, Architektur, Gärten, Künstlerische Frauenarbeiten. XVI. Jg., Heft 3 (Dezember 1912). 
  • Art and the Transitional Object in Vernon Lee’s Supernatural Tales
  • Rainer Maria Rilke: On the Wax Dolls of Lotte Pritzel. Rilke wrote, “Sexless as the dolls of childhood were, can find no decease in their stagnant ecstasy, which has neither inflow nor outflow.” (Zu den Wachs-Puppen von Lotte Pritzel) Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Correspondence.
  • Wieland Schmied: The Engineer of Eros (Essay appeared at: Hans Bellmer, Hatje Cantz Verlag 2006)
  • Walter Benjamin: Lob der Puppe. Kritische Glossen zu Max v. Boehns  »Puppen und Puppenspiele« 1930. (Praise the doll. Critical glosses to Max von Boehn `s ” Dolls And Puppets ” 1930.)
  • “Dolls And Puppets” by Max Von Boehn. Translated by Josephine Nicoll. With a Note on Puppets by George Bernard Shaw. Walton Press (November 9, 2010)
  • Johannes R. Becher: Gedichte um Lotte. Leipzig, Insel 1919. Liebesgedichte um die Puppenkünstlerin Lotte Pritzel, der ersten Freundin von J. R. Becher.
  • Clement Greenberg, “The Avant-Garde and Kitsch,” in Collected Essays and Criticism.
  • Sensible Ecstasy: Mysticism, Sexual Difference, and the Demands of History (Religion and Postmodernism).
  • Georges Bataille, Story of the Eye. For the original see Georges Bataille, Histoire de l’oeil, in Bataille, Oeuvres complètes, tome 1, Paris: Gallimard.
  • Roland Barthes, “The Metaphor of the Eye,” in his Critical Essays, Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 1972.
  • Addicted to dolls. Die Zeit 1967)
Lotte Pritzel Portrait. Art doll Artist. Art Deco costume dolls.
Lotte Pritzel 1913


  • DIE PRITZELPUPPE. Directed by Ulrich Kayser. Written by: Maria Elisabeth Kähnert. Camera: Max Brinck. Length: 14min. With Blandine Ebinger, Niddy Impekoven, Lotte Pritzel. Production: Universum Film AG (Ufa), Cultural Department, Berlin.


Games of the Doll by Derek Sayer (Outtake from Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century: A Surrealist History

Georges Bataille – À perte de vue (english sub)

50-minute documentary program co-produced by Amip-France 3. Director: André S. Labarthe well-known as co-founder and original developer of “Cinéma, de notre temps”, here portrays the French writer Georges Bataille (1897-1962), whose work ventures, at the same time, into the fields of literature, anthropology, philosophy, economy, sociology and history of art. Initially broadcasted on 30 April 1997, the film contains the interviews with Pierre Klossowski and Jacques Pimpanneau. The French title could be translated as “As-Far-as-The-Eye-Can-See (At the Limit of Vision)”, which may well constitute a literary reference to the Bataille’s first book, “Story of the Eye”.

Tatsumi Hijikata. Three “Bellmers” (Dance). The dolls of Hans Bellmer.

Dolls of Lotte Pritzel by Michel Wilhelm

(Published in: German Art and Decoration, 1911. Original German) The doll is a citizen of the new era. One time, intimately loved the Artificial, particularly in its early stages because she of the natural, of life, was a little tired. Yes, it really is true that from such a tiny appearance as it is the new love of dolls adhere, paths lead to the overall psychology of our era. How does the modern aversion, or shall we say: the modern distrust of life about? One would have to talk because of the philosophy of the last century, of the machines of the devaluation of the ideals of the art of naturalism, from aestheticism.

All this should not happen here, in the assumption that people have experienced in the modern doubt alive on the control rights, historical law and natural. In the escape from life, whose loud, pathetic kind of the fine, young spirits of the fin du siecle offended whole illusory worlds, worlds were created, full of splendor and beauty, without the unclean “earthly remains” always clings to the real. The modern skepticism mocked the noisy sign of life, about his sweat smells and its formlessness.

And with a wry smile, she walked over to the artificial, which combines the beautiful appearance of living form with the nobility of nonbeing. The doll does not look quite like a loveable symbolization of modern aestheticism? Both deny the contentsthe life, in favor of the form. Both are final ground of sex and satanic beings. Is it a coincidence that always the same here, recurs at Lotte Pritzels dolls Aubrey Beardsley reminiscent physiognomy? And not only that. The costuming awakened at every turn memories of the bizarre, tender infamous line of the great dandy and artist. The idea, however, to transfer this way, developed and maintained not only by Beardsley line of splendid devilry and wonderful life aversion to the playful nature of the doll, this incidence is undoubtedly one of the most amiable and finest thoughts which have produced in recent years. Lotte Pritzels dolls are color arrangements and full line demonstrations of a delicate erotic sense. Her scent is love and tenderness, her figure is grace, and sweet, gentle enthusiasm is as charming fog over their whole appearance.

They are quite immersed in superb, diffuse sensuality, like the porcelain sculpture of Rococo, and this characteristic is enhanced by the delicate melancholy lightness, yes nullity of their being. These dolls are lightweight and hold like butterflies, like colorful soap bubbles, they are free from all the seriousness of life as a work of art and have quite that delicate, sad, charming smile, bless us with those non-being things like dreams, hunches and memories. Unreal puffs are they, structure of royal freedom and chastity of the phenomenon. You feel how easily and immediately the imagination of the hand she brought forth, has created played. Not the mind and the expressive possibilities of an artist who created this fine, colorful creatures, but the spirit of the silk with which they are clothed, the spirit of fragrant lace and wax, which is so pathetically malleable, that the warmth of the hand is sufficient to defeat its brittleness.

Lotte Pritzels dolls want to say nothing and mean nothing. They are “meaningless” and “insignificant” like flowers that live only for their own sake, in love with her ​​own beauty and as it secretly into smiling in itself. They are among the works of art the same what are the children among the people. No destiny presses it, no spirituality complained and elevates them. Each is an angel in the midst of their clouds of silk and lace, just complained only with as much physicality as needful to completely attenuated in the colors and line arrangement and to let in sounding from a distance the important notion of human corporeity. I would like to share at this point the spring to my colleague Peter Altenberg, so he suggested us the charm of this waxen hands, feet and head with the boundless capacity for devotion to his poetic nature and the delicacy of its fine, faithful and sickly hand. “Oh, they have a soul made ​​of white cotton, the beloved!” He might write, “they are the purest female essence of which I was allowed to dream ever.

Their hands are only made ​​for picking flowers, and they go barefoot, so that the lines of their fine fetters sing and enjoy the people. From such hands, cool, delicate and vibrant, we have dreamed of as a boy, only to find that it does not exist in life, and you, Lizzie B. should, can tell you that your sweet little face never, never so much spirit , wisdom, grace, and shyness was like the feet of this brown wax girl whose breasts show the rosy tips. ” I myself would have to notice about these limbs that they are made of delicate and splendid, all of evenly expression, all of the same nervous, kind of old noble chic, well-bred and daring girls looking this little creatures all a bit haughty and unspeakably shy from above, have all the big mouth that adorn the memories of forbidden kisses, and the same dreamy Mongols eyes that see the poets shimmer exotic delights. Only the blunt snacking they legitimized as Europeans, as descendants of the amiable ladies of Watteau and Boucher’s grace that led the tame lambs and the equally tame shepherds delicious imaginary pastures. What should I tell more of them? That they provide, lay and can set how you like it? That Lotte Pritzel was the first who began to write poetry in a larger scale with wax, silk, lace and wigs? This may be than listed here yet. W. M. NOBLE MATERIAL longs for the trained hand, the unfolding its most secret charms, his virtues bring the beams.

In the noble woods, metals, glass rivers, the leather or the stone slumber beauty values ​​guessed, even if the negligent agent has expended no effort to make it appear to the senses. But it is not a crime at the richly-conscious of the nature of matter, are when their inner beauty broke remains as a non-planted field? Of this debt, we can not speak quite freely to us. Well we have reached the point that precious wood, gold, silver, marble, radiant leather and sheer fabrics be used with joy and zeal. But who would deny that these things usually remain primitive and unrefined. And who would deny that this absence of a loving design almost appears as a waste of material. Consider but an old gem, a carving from an earlier period or a Japanese bronze. Through hard work and skill is because the original matter transformed to unprecedented treasure. The law of nature is fulfilled, and the man looks delighted the thus created work. P. Wesheim.