Lot 18
  • 18

RICHARD AVEDON | Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, Los Angeles, California, 1981

50,000 - 70,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Richard Avedon
  • Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, Los Angeles, California, 1981
  • Silver print
  • Sheet: 72.4 by 108.6cm., 28 ½ by 42 ¾in.  
Oversized silver print, signed and numbered 52/200 in pencil on the mount. Mounted and framed. 


G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, Santa Monica, 1984
Gift of David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg, 1986 
Philips New York, Photographs from the Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1 October 2014, lot 112


Fraser, On the Edge: Images from 100 Years of Vogue, pp. 232-233
Random House, Richard Avedon: Evidence 1944-1994, p. 162 for a variant

Catalogue Note

Richard Avedon’s Nastassja Kinkski and the Serpent, exudes a timeless eroticism. This iconic image was taken during a two hour shoot when Kinski was at the height of her career and Avedon was already a world renowned fashion photographer. Intertwined with a boa constrictor, grappling with temptation, seduction and power, Kinski is clearly referencing deeply rooted concepts in classical art and mythology, most notoriously  the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent that tricked Eve to take an apple from the Tree of Knowledge.  Commissioned for Vogue, the only fashion emblem present is the Patricia von Musulin bracelet which the editor of Vogue at the time noted she regretted including within the photograph.