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Portrait of Brassaï on a mountain peak

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Date:

    1930s-40s

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin silver print mounted on thick card

  • Credit Line:

    Bequest of Gilberte Boyer Brassaï

  • Museum number:

    E.885-2014

  • Gallery location:

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

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 day-time Paris provide a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a Parisian citizen. Whether a couple in an embrace or a view of a park, these photographs feel like a stolen glance into an ordinary, but exciting, place. Brassaï, perhaps in his passion for a new profession and a new city, had an ability to build a dramatic narrative around mundane things, inserting a tangible vitality into his photographs.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of a man wearing a striped shirt and black jacket, hands on hips with sungalsses pushed up onto his forehead. He stands on what appears to be a mountain peak, with a mountain view visible in the background.

Date

1930s-40s

Artist/maker

Unknown (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print mounted on thick card

Marks and inscriptions

Verso:
Centre, black ink: 'No. 5.'
Bottom right, stamped in black ink: 'SUCCESSION / BRASSAÏ / ESTATE'

Dimensions

Width: 29.1 cm image, Height: 39.1 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 unknown photographer, 'Portrait of Brassaï on a mountain peak', 1930s-40s. Printed for exhibition early 1960s, gelatin silver print mounted on thick card.

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Gelatin silver process; Photography

Subjects depicted

Mountain

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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