The Quick and the Dead

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.

Date:

1950/55

Artist:

Ed Van der Elsken
Dutch, 1925–1990

About this artwork

The Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken arrived in Paris in the years following World War II and joined the circle of radical avant–gardes led by Marxist theorist Guy Debord. He meandered with his camera through the jazz bars, cafés, and restaurants of Saint–Germain–des–Prés, producing a series of photographs that captured the rebellious youth culture of that time, later published as the book Love on the Left Bank. Shot in quick succession, these two street views show police dispersing a crowd of demonstrators and employ an aerial perspective that contrasts starkly with the casual intimacy found in most of Elsken’s images. Yet they reflect a parallel concern with the state of postwar French society, which he indicted as “bourgeois, individualistic, decadent, rotten and deadly … with nothing to offer its young people.”

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Photography

Artist

Ed Van Der Elsken

Title

The Quick and the Dead

Origin

Netherlands

Date

1950–1955

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

29.5 × 29.8 cm

Credit Line

Peabody Fund

Reference Number

1957.203

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 .

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