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Photograph of woman standing in front of closed storefront on a darkened street.

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  • Photograph of woman standing in front of closed storefront on a darkened street.




Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
French, born Hungary (now Romania), 1899–1984

About this artwork

From the moment of his arrival in Paris in 1924, Brassaï (who took his name from Brasov, his Transylvanian birthplace) was fascinated by the city “under cover of darkness.” Around 1930, when the former art student learned from his friend André Kertész that photography at night was indeed possible, he began documenting this extraordinary underworld. The result was his remarkable publication Paris at Night (first published in France in 1933), which depicts not only such well-known spots as the Arc de Triomphe, but also dark streets and alleys with just enough light to reveal a flower-shop window, a pissoir, a show at the Folies-Bergère, or the details of wet paving bricks. This image is from a 1932 series taken around Les Halles, in which Brassaï recorded women he called the “Venuses of the Crossroads,” or prostitutes standing at their posts. With an aura of mystery, Brassaï captured one of these ladies of the evening as she stood on the puddled street corner, smiling into the shadows.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Brassaï, (Gyula Halász)




France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1932


Gelatin silver print


Unmarked recto; stamped verso, lower right, in purple: "PHOTO BRASSAI / COPYRIGHT BY / GYULA HALASZ / 74, RUE DE LA GLACIÈRE / PARIS (13e) ["e" in superscript]" ; inscribed verso, lower center, in graphite: "21 [encircled] / RMG 282.31"


Image/paper: 23.3 × 17.3 cm (9 3/16 × 6 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Mrs. Leigh B. Block

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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