An Original Marilyn Monroe Photograph by Andre DeDienes

An original vintage gelatin silver print shot by Andre De Dienes on Tobey Beach, Long Island, New York, 1949.


André de Dienes came to the US from central Europe in 1938. He settled in California and here, in the wide-open landscapes and under the near-constant sunshine, he made a speciality of plein-air photography of the nude. His encounter with one particular young model was an epiphany.

He recounts how he called a lady model agent he knew, Emmeline Snively, who had the Blue Book Model Agency at the Ambassador Hotel, and explained to her that he was back in Hollywood again and needed models for photos of nudes, artistic nudes for a new project he had in mind. Miss Snively said there was a pretty girl in her office, waiting for her first modeling assignment, who had just started in the profession and perhaps would pose for nudes. Miss Snively said she would send the young lady to see him right away and that her name was Norma Jeane Baker.

De Dienes recorded their meeting in his diary: ‘When Norma Jeane arrived in my bungalow later in the afternoon, it was as if a miracle had happened to me. From the instant I looked at her and we began to talk, her voice, her smile, her beautiful blue eyes revived in my mind Krisztina, the maid in Transylvania whom I loved so much. Norma Jeane was like the spitting image of Krisztina (except that she was only 19). Her movements, her vitality, her enthusiasm, her entire counternance reflecting purity of soul, and honesty, were exactly like Krisztina’s. Even her outbursting laughter seemed the same! Norma Jeane seemed to me like an angel into my memory! I could hardly believe it for a few moments. An earthly sexy-looking angel! Sent expressly for me!’ — André de Dienes (from his personal diary for 1945, spelling and punctuation rationalized)