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La cour

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (photographed)

  • Date:

    1930s-40s (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Brassaï Guyula Hálasz, born 1899 - died 1984 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin silver print mounted on thick card.

  • Credit Line:

    Bequest of Gilberte Boyer Brassaï

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

Brassaï was born in 1899 as Gyula Halász in the Transylvanian town of Brassó. He grew up in Budapest and spent the early 1920s in Berlin, training as a painter and working as a journalist. He moved to Paris in 1924, where he stayed until his death in 1984. He took up photography in Paris initially to support his written journalism, though he soon committed himself to a solely photographic practice. Brassaï is most well-known for his images of Parisian life, featuring brothels, prostitutes, city streets, architecture and high society alike. His first book, ‘Paris by Night’, was published in 1933 and established his reputation as a serious photographer.

His depictions of Paris at night present eerie streets, almost resembling a smoky ‘film-noir’ set. In their suggestions of a mysterious underworld, his photographs caught the attention of André Breton and the Surrealists, which led to a ten year association with the group; although, Brassaï was careful to never call himself a Surrealist and maintained that his photographs were objective.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of a courtyard with a woman looking down from an upper window.

Place of Origin

Paris (photographed)


1930s-40s (photographed)


Brassaï Guyula Hálasz, born 1899 - died 1984 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print mounted on thick card.

Marks and inscriptions

Top centre, pencil: 'P.680'
Bottom right, stamped in black ink: 'SUCCESSION / BRASSAÏ / ESTATE'


Width: 29.2 cm image, Height: 39 cm image

Object history note

This object came to the museum as part of a bequest of 99 photographs by Brassaï from his widow, Madame Gilberte Boyer.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Brassaï, 'La cour' [The Courtyard], c.1930s-40s. Printed for exhibition c.1950s-60s, gelatin silver print on thick card


Photographic paper


Gelatin silver process; Photography

Subjects depicted





Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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