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Le Bal des Quatre-Saisons, rue de Lappe

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (photographed)

  • Date:

    1932 (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.916-2014

  • 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 couples dancing in a room decorated with christmas ornaments. In the back right corner of the room, a band is playing.

Place of Origin

Paris (photographed)

Date

1932 (photographed)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print

Marks and inscriptions

Verso:
Top right, pencil: '50' [encircled and crossed out]
Top centre, stamped in purple ink: 'BRASSAÏ / 81, RUE DU FAUBg St-JACQUES / PARIS-XIVe PORT-ROYAL 23-41'
Top right, pencil: 'Page 75 [encircled]
Centre, blue ink: 'Pl. 22' [underlined and encircled in red ink]
Centre, stamped in black ink: 'BRASSAÏ / 81, RUE DU FAUBrg St-JACQUES / PARIS XIVe / TÉLÉPH.: PORT-ROYAL 23-41'
Bottom left, pencil: 'Brassaï'
Bottom right, stamped in black ink: 'SUCCESSION / BRASSAÏ / ESTATE'
Bottom right, black ink: '79' [encircled]

Dimensions

Width: 23.4 cm image, Height: 17.6 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, 'Le bal des Quatre-Saisons, rue de Lappe' [The Four-Seasons' dance hall, rue de Lappe], Paris, 1932, gelatin silver print

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Gelatin silver process; Photography

Subjects depicted

Dancing; Decorations; Decorations; Dance hall; Band

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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