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Photograph - Paris

Paris

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (Made)

  • Date:

    1929 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Breslauer, Marianne, born 1909 - died 2001 (Photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin silver print

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Marianne Feilchenfeldt

  • Museum number:

    E.135-1998

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 914

This is the contact print from an original negative taken in Paris by Marianne Breslauer (1909-2001) in 1929. The contact print shows the full negative, revealing how radically Breslauer has cropped the original in a print of this image also in the V&A photography collection (Ph.797-1987). This scene was used as a cover for the book Begegnungen, by Gotthard Jedlicka, published in Basel in 1933. Although Breslauer published the cropped version of the image in a late monograph of her work this way up, old pencil inscriptions show that at one time the image was viewed the other way up, perhaps to emphasise the Surrealist nature of the image.

Physical description

Black and white contact print of Ph.797-1987. The photograph is a view of the restaurant La Rotonde, Paris, 1929. Taken from above from a building across the street, the photograph captures a number of pedestrians crossing the street. There is an entrance to the metro on the right of the photograph, the restaurant to the left. Taken at an angle the slanting perspective enhances the shadows of the figures on the pavement.

Place of Origin

Paris (Made)

Date

1929 (Made)

Artist/maker

Breslauer, Marianne, born 1909 - died 2001 (Photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

Height: 8 cm, Height: 10.8 cm

Object history note

This is the contact print for the whole negative which was cropped for Ph.797-1987, also titled Paris, 1929. This was donated by Marianne Feilchenfeld, the photographer, formally known as Marianne Breslauer. Breslauer's Paris scene was used as a cover for the book Begegnungen, meaning meetings, by Gotthard Jedlicka, published in Basel in 1933. Although Breslauer published the cropped version of the image in a late monograph of her work this way up, old pencil inscriptions show that at one time the image was viewed the other way up, which emphasises the Surrealist nature of the image.

Historical significance: This vintage print gives an exceptional insight into the photographic working methods. The photographer states that both the contact print and the cropped image acquired by the museum in 1987 are unique.

Historical context note

The cropped version of this photograph, with it's slanting perspectives and its startling shadows, became part of an international style in the late 'Twenties. Highly graphic photographs suited the new illustrated magazines like Vu in Paris and other commercial applications.

Descriptive line

Breslauer, Marianne. Paris 1929. (Gelatin-silver contact print for cropped version see Ph.797-1984)

Labels and date

Gallery 100 ‘A History of Photography’, 2014-2015, label text:

Marianne Breslauer (1909–2001)
Paris
1929
Breslauer trained with Man Ray and, like Ilse Bing, used the Leica to take street photographs from unexpected vantage points. Shot from above, the compositions capture the hustle and bustle of a sunny Parisian street. At one stage she displayed the larger of the two photographs the other way up, creating a more Surrealist impression. The smaller print is a contact print from the negative, revealing how radically Breslauer later cropped the image.
Gelatin silver prints
Given by the artist, in memory of Arthur and Tamara Kauffmann
Museum nos. Ph.797-1987; E.135-1998
[06 03 2014]

Subjects depicted

People; Cars; Restaurant; Roads; Underground; Shadow; Pedestrians

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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