The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)
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If we were to sit down and identify the most eccentric souls out there, Marcel Duchamp would top the list.

This is The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even, and boy is it a doozy. This piece is supposed to show an erotic encounter. The upper panel depicts the bride’s domain, while the lower panel shows nine bachelors eagerly awaiting her while interacting with some sort of mysterious mechanical apparatus. This may sound a little odd, but I think this may be the 1920’s equivalent of "The Bachelorette."

Furthermore, many people see this piece as an exploration into the male and female desire to complicate each other’s lives.  That's standard reality TV show drama. Some call this a love machine while others see the torments of lust. Some critics have even suggested that the bride is hanging or crucified, while the men are left to their own devices, and have decided to masturbate to pass the time.

While presenting a museum with a broken piece of glass sounds like something Duchamp would do, it was actually the Brooklyn Museum that dropped the ball and shattered the work. Instead of just putting two new pieces of glass on his creation and calling it done, being the neurotic fellow he was, Duchamp decided to painstakingly glue all of the broken glass back together. There are also nine holes in this piece, which are the result of Duchamp launching matchsticks dipped in paint from a toy cannon at it. Perhaps he felt that the paintbrush was too boring.

To me, this piece seems like a jovial play on romance, but  others have not taken so kindly to the sexual connotations of Duchamp’s creation. In the book The Christian View of the Church, the author claims that when viewing this piece, “The young couple holding hands, looking at Duchamp’s work, will have a harder time saying no to their urges that evening.” I don’t know about you, but looking at this artwork doesn't exactly jump-start my libido. And if it did rev your engines for an ensuing night of fun...isn't that a plus?

Even with all this explaining ,this artwork still seems, to me, like a hot mess. Duchamp once said, "I believe that the artist doesn't know what he does. I attach even more importance to the spectator than to the artist." So if you're stumped, just make something up! Because, as you've suspected all's only your opinion that matters. 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even

The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même), most often called The Large Glass (Le Grand Verre), is an artwork by Marcel Duchamp over 9 feet (2.7 m) tall, and freestanding. Duchamp worked on the piece from 1915 to 1923, creating two panes of glass with materials such as lead foil, fuse wire, and dust. It combines chance procedures, plotted perspective studies, and laborious craftsmanship. Duchamp's ideas for the Glass began in 1913, and he made numerous notes and studies, as well as preliminary works for the piece. The notes reflect the creation of unique rules of physics, and myth which describes the work.

It is at first sight baffling in iconography and unclassifiable style. Yet this glass construction is not a discrete whole. The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even is also the title given to The Green Box notes (1934) as Duchamp intended the Large Glass to be accompanied by a book, in order to prevent purely visual responses to it. The notes describe that his "hilarious picture" is intended to depict the erotic encounter between the "Bride", in the upper panel, and her nine "Bachelors" gathered timidly below in an abundance of mysterious mechanical apparatus in the lower panel.The Large Glass was exhibited in 1926 at the Brooklyn Museum before it was broken during transport and carefully repaired by Duchamp. It is now part of the permanent collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Duchamp sanctioned replicas of The Large Glass, the first in 1961 for an exhibition at Moderna Museet in Stockholm and another in 1966 for the Tate Gallery in London. The third replica is in Komaba Museum, University of Tokyo.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even.

Comments (1)


This piece of art work is quite confusing with a lot of damage going on. It is insane with no rules, just damage and decoration added to the broken glass.