Bettina Rheims (French, b.1952) is a photographer best known for her erotic images of women. Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, Rheims worked as a model before turning to photography in 1978. Her earliest series titled Portraits (1981) featured striptease artists and acrobats posing in her studio. In 1990, she photographed androgynous youths for her series Modern Lovers. She has collaborated with the novelist Serge Bramly on several projects, including the book Chambre Close, published in 1992, which accompanied the fictional narrative of “Monsieur X” with Rheims’s photographs of women posing in hotel rooms.

Her series I.N.R.I. (1998), another collaboration with Bramly, is a biblical narrative illustrated by fashion models. Rheims has photographed fashion and celebrities for magazines and newspapers such as Elle, L’Officiel, and Marie Claire, and she has shot campaigns for Chanel and Lancôme, among other brands. In 1994, she was awarded the Grand Prix de la Photographie of the City of Paris. Her work has been exhibited at the Musée de l´Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. She currently lives and works in Paris.


Born in Paris, France
Started out photographing striptease artists and acrobats, and did many commissionned works (albums covers, such as for Jean-Jacques Goldman; photos of various stars)
Photographed celebrities and addressed issues of voyeurism and confession, particularly in her project 'Chambre Close', a collaboration with Serge Bramly
Awarded from the Grand Prix de la Photographie of the City of Paris
Took the official portrait photograph of Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic
Promoted by Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, to the grade of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur for her whole career
Lives and works in Paris, France


Rose, c'est Paris, Maruani & Noirhomme Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
Gender Studies, NRW Foreum Düsseldorf / Camera Work, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Héroïnes, Chanel Nexus Hall, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Made in Paradise, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Rose, c’est Paris, Hong Kong City Hall, China / Fondation Alinari, Florence, Italy (solo)
Rose, c’est Paris (avec Serge Bramly), Richelieu / Galerie de photographie, Paris, France
La collection s'expose - Polaroïd en péril !, Musée de l´Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
AU-DELA DU REEL, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France
Intimacy! Baden in der Kunst, Kunst Museum Ahlen, Ahlen, Germany
Portrait de l’artiste en motocycliste - MAGASIN, Centre National d’art Contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble, France
Dans l'oeil du critique - Bernard Lamarche-Vadel et les artistes, Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - MAM/ARC, Paris, France
Influence Pop, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France
Can You Find Happiness?, Co-Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Traumfrauen. 50 Starfotografen zeigen ihre Vision von Schönheit, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Gallery Selections, Hamiltons Gallery, London, UK
REAL. Fotografien aus der Sammlung der DZ-BANK, Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany
Just like a Woman, ProjectB Gallery, Milan, Italy
Heroines, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Germany (solo)
Animal, Deyrolle, Paris, France (solo)
Vogue en beauté, 1920-2007, BnF Site François-Mitterrand, Paris, France
Guangzhou Photo Biennial 2007 - Guangzhou Photo Biennial, Guangdong, China
Héroïnes, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France
Retrospective, Kunsthal, Rotterdam, Netherlands ; Moscow House of Photography, Moscow, Russia ; Musée d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, France (solo)
Femmes, Maruani & Noirhomme Gallery, Knokke, Belgium
Twenty Five Years, Cook Fine Art, New York, NY
Colleziona - Forma, Centro Internazionale di Fotografia, Milan, Italy
Retrospective, KunstHausWien, Wien, Germany; NRW Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft, Düsseldorf, Germany; Botanique Museum, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
YES YES YES YES, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany
Retrospective, Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland ; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway (solo)
Shanghai, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France (solo)
I.N.R.I., MEO Contemporary Art Collection, Budapest, Hungary(solo)
Corpus Christi - Christus-Darstellungen in der photographie, 1850-2001, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Chambre Close - L’intégrale, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France (solo)
Archeology of Elegance, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Muster Frau, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
Chambre Close, Cheim & Read Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
HIMMELFAHRTEN - Mythos, Kult und Religion in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, Galerie Wolfgang Gmyrek, Dusseldorf, Germany
'INRI', Thaddeus Ropac Gallery, Salzburg, Austria
X'mas, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
Faith: The Impact of Judeo Christian Religion on Art at the Millinium,The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT
The Erotic Sublime, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria
Anthologie, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria (solo)

Public Collections

Museum for Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany
Sammlung Essl, Vienna, Austria
Olbricht Collection, Essen, Germany
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, USA
La Ville de Paris, France
Commission des Beaux-Arts du Hainaut, Belgium
Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany
DG Bank, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Instituto Cultural Banco Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
Ministère de la Culture, Paris, France
Musée de la Mode, Paris, France
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria
Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, France
Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea
Musée de l´Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland


Héroïnes. Paris: Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, 2006 (catalogue)
S. Bramly, K. Levine, JC. Amman and B. Arell, Rétrospective Bettina Rheims. Munich, Germany: Schirmer / Mosel Verlag, 2004
More Trouble. Munich, Germany: Schirmer / Mosel Verlag, 2004
Shanghai. Paris, France: Robert Laffont, 2003
X’mas. Paris, France: Léo Scheer, 2000
I.N.R.I. Paris, France: Albin Michel, 1998
Animal. Munich, Germany: Kehayoff (Gina) Verlag, 1994
Chambre Close. Paris, France: Maeght, 1992
Modern Lovers. Paris, France: Paris Audiovisuel, 1990
Female Trouble. Munich, Germany: Schirmer / Mosel Verlag, 1989