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Brassai: Paris by Night

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The current edition has been printed in heliogravure using Brassai's original plates, with the exception of photographs for which the plates have disappeared and which have been reproduced from the 1933 edition: numbers 2, 49, 55, 58, 59 60, 61, as well as the paving-stones appearing on the endpapers. The gradation of tones is wonderfully subtle, describing an apparently infinite range of black and near-black tones. Despite his social clout and early professional successes, Brassaï still viewed himself as an outlander of sorts. Roaming Paris streets by night in the early 1930s, Brassa created arresting images of the city's dramatic nocturnal landscape. A Monastic Brothel, Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, 1931In his quest to cover every facet of Paris, Brassaï also immersed himself in the city’s darker side.

Lorant's layout produces some interesting juxtapositions of rich and poor experiencing the city by night. Ein wunderbarer Bildband, aus einer Zeit, als Fotografieren noch eine hochkomplizierte Kunst war und Bilder entweder gleich, oder niemals etwas geworden sind. First published in 1933, Paris By Night, of which I own the fine reissue by Flammarion (2011), feels like more than a book: it is a steppingstone in photography, and offers a look into the Paris night, as a world complete in itself, with its own story, its own characters.When Brassaï was at the age of three his family lived in Paris for a year while his father taught at the Sorbonne. He was one of the numerous Hungarian artists who flourished in Paris beginning between the World Wars. Brassaï moved in the same circles as the surrealists–he met Picasso in 1932, and worked on Le Minotaure, the famous surrealist review. When the allies liberated the city in 1944, Brassaï leaned out of his apartment window to watch—he was, as ever, the fearless voyeur. After fighting in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I and studying art at Berlin-Charlottenburg’s Academy of Fine Arts, the artist moved to Paris in 1924.

Thus, as well as a wonderful collection of very evocative images, the book can act as a reminder of the importance in engaging the intellect to make such images. We collect information from our users – this is for administration and contact purposes in connection with contributions you may wish to make to the site or your use of certain site features such as newsletter subscriptions and property enquiries.

My recollection, which may be wrong, of the earlier edition (probably from the 60s or 70s) is that it was printed on glossy paper, but one reviewer is of the opinion that the paper used here is more matte. Paris by Night" is a stunning portrait of nighttime in the City of Light, as captured by its most articulate observer. In the early 21st century, the discovery of more than 200 letters and hundreds of drawings and other items from the period 1940–1984 has provided scholars with material for understanding his later life and career. It was almost certainly my first exposure to any of his works although I have bought other books of his photography in the many years since. Working as a journalist by day, by night he roamed the streets of the capital and visited its bistros, sharing moments in the lives of the prostitutes and peddlers, down-and-outs, and illicit lovers who lived on the margins of society.

Brassai was probably more responsible than most for generating the noir genre associated with Paris but that, I think, was a function of his equipment.tall x 10-5/8"; black cover; lamination is lifting from cover; crease along top 6" front cover and light corresponding creases to first 2 pp; ca. All quotes and shortened quotes are from the book and credited as: ©Brassaï: Paris by Night (Flammarion, 2011).

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