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
- Brassaï, (Gyula Halász)
- 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"
- 23.3 × 17.3 cm (image/paper)
- Restricted gift of Mrs. Leigh B. Block