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Photograph - Fountain, Paris

Fountain, Paris

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (photographed)

  • Date:

    1934 (photographed)
    1988 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bing, Ilse, born 1899 - died 1998 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin-silver print from solarised negative

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Ilse Bing Wolff

  • Museum number:

    E.3069-2004

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 913, box J

Ilse Bing (1899-1998) was one of several leading women photographers in the inter-war period. Born into a Jewish family in Frankfurt, she initially pursued an academic career before moving to Paris in 1930 to concentrate on photography. Bing experimented with solarisation from 1934 at the same time as Man Ray (1890-1976) and Lee Miller (1907-1977), although she claimed that she discovered the technique independently of them. Solarisation happens when negatives are exposed to light in the darkroom during developing and printing, producing partly reversed images. Bing’s experiments developed from an interest in light, as she explained at the time, ‘light was considered the medium that permits photography. But for me it became the main subject: the protagonist of my photography’. This photograph reveals the effects of electric lights on water. Bing made solarised photographs of dancers in night-time Paris at the same time. This image shows an exterior view of the city at night.

Physical description

The focal point of this photograph is a water fountain. Because of the solarised negative, the projected water appears very bright against the dark, night-time background. The fountain is flanked by two rows of lights, appearing as glowing dots in the sky.

Place of Origin

Paris (photographed)

Date

1934 (photographed)
1988 (printed)

Artist/maker

Bing, Ilse, born 1899 - died 1998 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin-silver print from solarised negative

Marks and inscriptions

'ILSE BING / 1934'
Written in pencil on reverse by artist

'Fountain Paris / sol.neg. / pr 1985'
Written in pencil on reverse by artist

'ILSE BING 1934'
artist's signature, black ink, bottom left

Dimensions

Height: 33 cm image, Width: 25.7 cm image, Height: 35.4 cm sheet, Width: 27.8 cm sheet

Descriptive line

'Fountain, Paris', photograph from solarised negative by Ilse Bing (1899-1998), 1934, printed 1985

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ilse Bing: Three decades of photographyNancy C. Barrett (New Orleans Museum of Art, 1985)

Subjects depicted

Fountain

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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