Brassaï (French (born Romania), Brașov 1899–1984 Côte d'Azur)
1932, printed ca. 1960
Gelatin silver print
Image: 29.2 x 22.7 cm (11 1/2 x 8 15/16 in.)
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Marlene Nathan Meyerson Family Foundation Gift, 2005
Not on view
Brassaï made his name as a chronicler of the night. His book Paris de nuit (1932) surveys the activities and topography of the city after dark, from the louche bars of Montparnasse to the trees and bridges flanking the Seine. The dreamy atmosphere of Brassaï's photographs is intensified by his preference for shooting on rainy and foggy nights. "Fog and rain . . . tend to soften contrasts," he wrote. "Steam, as well as wet ground, act as reflectors and diffuse the light of the lamps in all directions. Therefore, it is necessary to photograph certain subjects in the rain, since it is the rain that makes them 'photogenic.'"
Inscription: Signed in pink ink on print, verso BL: "Brassai [underlined]"; Titled and dated in purple ink on print, verso BRC: "La Colonne // Morris // Dans le Brouillard // 1932"; artist's stamps, verso BC: "Tirage de l'Auteur", "c [encircled] COPYRIGHT by // BRASSAÏ // 81, Faubourg St-Jacques // PARIS 14eme Tél 707.23.41"; numbered in pencil in various hands, verso C: "N.124.", "20 [encircled]"
Brassaï; [...]; [Marlborough Gallery, New York]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York (October 30, 1975)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Night Vision: Photography After Dark," April 26, 2011–September 5, 2011.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paris as Muse: Photography, 1840s – 1930s," January 27, 2014–May 4, 2014.