La fête foraine (le médium)

Photograph
1930s (photographed)
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gelatin silver print
Brief Description
Photograph by Brassaï, 'La fête foraine (le médium)' [The funfair (psychic)], Paris, 1930s, gelatin silver print
Physical Description
Black and white photograph depicting a couple reading a board outside a psychic's both. The psychic is present in the window.
Dimensions
  • Image width: 22.2cm (Note: image and paper are the same size)
  • Image height: 29.2cm (Note: image and paper are the same size)
Styles
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'
Credit line
Bequest of Gilberte Boyer Brassaï
Object history
This object came to the museum as part of a bequest of 99 photographs by Brassaï from his widow, Madame Gilberte Boyer.
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.

Collection
Accession Number
E.914

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record createdApril 15, 2015
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