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Au Bal de la Horde au Bullier

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (photographed)
    Bal Bullier (Bal Bullier was a ballroom in Paris, France, created by François Bullier in the mid-nineteenth century. It closed its doors in 1940. It was located at 39 Avenue Georges Bernanos in the district of Val-de-Grace in the 5th arrondissement, at the location of Bullier Centre CROUS. The entrance fee was two francs on Thursday nights, and one franc on Saturday nights., photographed)

  • Date:

    1931 (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.915-2014

  • Gallery location:

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

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.

Some of Brassaï’s most iconic images depict the scandalous nightlife in bars and brothels, exposing the city’s debaucherous underbelly. Scenes of prostitution, sexual interactions and nudity are not uncommon and present an almost practical view of the working women. Brassaï also frequented dance halls, depicting performers, ethnic minorities and members of the LGBTQ community. Overall, the indiscriminate scope of Brassaï’s photographs present this previously unseen side of Paris alongside more traditional subject matter such as society functions and opera dancers. His ability to document a complete cross section of society provides an authentic glimpse into Parisian life in the 1930s.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of three topless women standing in a crowd of men wearing suits. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling and are reflected in the mirrors to the back of the photograph.

Place of Origin

Paris (photographed)
Bal Bullier (Bal Bullier was a ballroom in Paris, France, created by François Bullier in the mid-nineteenth century. It closed its doors in 1940. It was located at 39 Avenue Georges Bernanos in the district of Val-de-Grace in the 5th arrondissement, at the location of Bullier Centre CROUS. The entrance fee was two francs on Thursday nights, and one franc on Saturday nights., photographed)

Date

1931 (photographed)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print

Marks and inscriptions

Centre right, pencil: 'Page 126'
Centre right, black ink: 'PP.747' [underlined]
Bottom, pencil: artist's signature 'Brassaï'
Bottom left, pencil: 'B62'
Bottom right, stamped in purple ink: 'BRASSAÏ / 81, RUE DU FAUBg St-JACQUES . PARIS XIVe / TÉLÉPH.: PORT-ROYAL 23-41'
Bottom right, stamped in black ink: 'SUCCESSION / BRASSAÏ / ESTATE'

Dimensions

Width: 17.8 cm image, Height: 23 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 Brassai, 'Au Bal de la Horde au Bullier' [At the 'Bal de la Horde' at Bullier], Montparnasse, Paris, 1931, gelatin silver print

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Gelatin silver process; Photography

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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