Girls anglaises dans leur loge aux Folies-Bergère

Photograph
c.1932 (made)
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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.

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.


object details
Category
Object Type
Additional TitleLoges des Folies-Bergère [Accommodations at the Folies-Bergère] (alternative title)
Materials and Techniques
Gelatin silver print
Brief Description
Photograph by Brassaï, 'Girls anglaises dans leur loge aux Folies Bergère' [English girls in their accommodations at the Folies-Bergère], c.1932, gelatin silver print
Physical Description
Black and white photograph depicting five girls chatting in a dressing room, dressed for a performance. Hats, photographs and posters are hanging on the wall behind them.
Dimensions
  • Image width: 23cm (Note: image and paper are the same size)
  • Image height: 29.7cm (Note: image and paper are the same size)
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
Verso: Top centre, pencil: '23x29 ; Pl.719' Top centre, black ink: 'PP.719' Bottom centre, stamped in purple ink: '© COPYRIGHT by / BRASSAÏ / 81, Faubourg St-Jacques / PARIS 14eme Tél. 707.23.41' Bottom right, black ink: 'Page 143' Bottom right, stamped in purple 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
Places 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.



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.

Bibliographic References
  • Brassaï, Voluptés de Paris, Paris: Paris-Publicaitons (1934), p41
  • Ludvic Soucek, Brassaï, Prague: SNKLHU (1962), p16
  • Brassaï, Le Paris secret des années 30 , Paris: Gallimard (1976), p143
Collection
Accession Number
E.924-2014

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record createdApril 15, 2015
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