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La fête foraine (le médium)

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (photographed)

  • Date:

    1930s (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin silver print

  • Credit Line:

    Bequest of Gilberte Boyer Brassaï

  • Museum number:

    E.914

  • 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 depicting a couple reading a board outside a psychic's both. The psychic is present in the window.

Place of Origin

Paris (photographed)

Date

1930s (photographed)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print

Marks and inscriptions

Verso:
Top left, pencil: '22.5x29'
Top centre, pencil: 'pp.887+B'
Top right, pencil: '28' [encircled]
Centre, pencil: 'Brassaï'
Centre, pencil: 'PP.887+B'
Centre, black ink: 'PL.887+B'
Centre, stamped in black ink: 'BRASSAÏ / 81, RUE DU FAUBg St-JACQUES / PARIS XIVe / TÉLÉPH: PORT-ROYAL 23-41'
Bottom left, stamped in blue ink: 'SUCCESSION / BRASSAÏ / ESTATE'

Dimensions

Width: 22.2 cm image, Height: 29.2 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 fête foraine (le médium)' [The funfair (psychic)], Paris, 1930s, gelatin silver print

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Gelatin silver process; Photography

Subjects depicted

Fortune teller; Fair

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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