Photography

Brassaï (1899 - 1984)

Born in Brasso, in Transylvania, Gyula Halász settled in Paris in the mid-twenties and became acquainted to photography thanks to Andre Kertesz’s work. Having adopted the name Brassai (inspired by his native town), he began to photograph Paris by night in the early thirties and thus depicted with humour and tenderness a crude collection of prostitutes, travesties, louts and lovers passionately kissing under the dim light of street lamps. Brassai became friends with other night birds such as Pablo Picasso, Henry Miller, André Breton and Salvador Dali, strongly influencing the Surrealist movement when he decided to depict the mysterious primitive-like graffitis engraved on Parisian walls. The photographer was not only a wanderer but also captured poetic portraits of his artistic entourage with a desire to make their existences even more fabulous: ‘I don’t invent anything. I imagine everything…Most of the time, I was inspired by my everyday life. I believe it is the most sincere and humble depiction of reality, of the most trivial, that leads to the fantastic.’ Although he was described by Henry Miller as a ‘living eye’, Brassai nonetheless gave his images a sense of enigmatic and surreal reverie, surely something that has to do with their nighttime atmosphere.

Tags / Brassai - Transylvanian Photographer - Night - Mystery - 1930s - Portrait
Brassaï, Nocturne, Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Nocturne, Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Little Goblin in the Triangular Skirt. Graffiti Series IX:
Brassaï, Little Goblin in the Triangular Skirt. Graffiti Series IX: "Primitive Images", circa 1930. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Untitled. Graffiti. Series II:
Brassaï, Untitled. Graffiti. Series II: "Language of the wall", circa 1930 . Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The Sun King (Saint-Ouen's Door). Graffiti. IX Series:
Brassaï, The Sun King (Saint-Ouen's Door). Graffiti. IX Series: "Primitive Images", circa 1930. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The Hanged. Graffiti.VIII Series:
Brassaï, The Hanged. Graffiti.VIII Series: "Magic", circa 1930. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Untitled (Médéah Street). Graffiti. IV Series:
Brassaï, Untitled (Médéah Street). Graffiti. IV Series: "Masks and Faces", circa 1930 . Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, La bande du Grand Albert, Paris, circa 1931-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, La bande du Grand Albert, Paris, circa 1931-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lovers in a parisian Café near Place d'Italie, circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lovers in a parisian Café near Place d'Italie, circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The Eiffel Tower At Twilight, Paris, 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The Eiffel Tower At Twilight, Paris, 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Les pavés, circa 1931-1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Les pavés, circa 1931-1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Untitled (Calle Nicolas-Houël / Calle de Courmel, París). Graffiti. Serie V:
Brassaï, Untitled (Calle Nicolas-Houël / Calle de Courmel, París). Graffiti. Serie V: "Animales", circa 1930. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The Woman (Prévot Passage). Graffiti. VI Series:
Brassaï, The Woman (Prévot Passage). Graffiti. VI Series: "Love", circa 1930. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Kids making graffiti, circa 1931. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Kids making graffiti, circa 1931. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picasso drawing, circa 1960. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picasso drawing, circa 1960. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Matisse with a Drawing He Made with His Eyes Closed, 1939. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Matisse with a Drawing He Made with His Eyes Closed, 1939. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Modernist Study of a Dancer Reclining, circa 1930. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Modernist Study of a Dancer Reclining, circa 1930. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picasso Posing as the Artist with Jean Marais as His Model, 1944. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picasso Posing as the Artist with Jean Marais as His Model, 1944. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picasso with
Brassaï, Picasso with "Les Femmes à Leur Toilette", circa 1939. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picasso's Palette, circa 1944-1945. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picasso's Palette, circa 1944-1945. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picnic Au Bord de la Marne, 1937. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picnic Au Bord de la Marne, 1937. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Pierre Reverdy, Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Brassaï in Picasso's studio at rue des Grands Augustins, Paris, April 27, 1944. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Pierre Reverdy, Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Brassaï in Picasso's studio at rue des Grands Augustins, Paris, April 27, 1944. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Portrait of Picasso in His Studio at 23 rue de La Boëtie, Paris, 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Portrait of Picasso in His Studio at 23 rue de La Boëtie, Paris, 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Place de l'Opera, circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Place de l'Opera, circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picasso with His Sculpture,
Brassaï, Picasso with His Sculpture, "The Speaker", circa 1939. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The Fat Claude and her friend at the Monocle, circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The Fat Claude and her friend at the Monocle, circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Suzy's, circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Suzy's, circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Suzy's circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Suzy's circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Salvador Dali and Gala at Villa Seurat, 1932/ 1933. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Salvador Dali and Gala at Villa Seurat, 1932/ 1933. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, During the reading of
Brassaï, During the reading of ""Désir attrapé par la queue" in the studio Grands Augustins June 1944. At Picasso's right: Zanie de Campan, Louise Leiris, Pierre Reverdy, Cécile Eluard, le docteur Lacan. At Picasso's left: Valentine Hugo, Simone de Beauvoir. Sitting: Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Leiris, Jean Aubier et Albert Camus. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lovers in a french bistrot, rue Saint-Denis, Paris, circa 1930. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lovers in a french bistrot, rue Saint-Denis, Paris, circa 1930. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï,
Brassaï, "Au Lac bleu", along of the river La Marne, France, circa 1930. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Alberto Giacometti, 1948. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Alberto Giacometti, 1948. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Alberto Giacometti, 1948. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Alberto Giacometti, 1948. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Kiosque, circa 1930-1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Kiosque, circa 1930-1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Wanda, Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Wanda, Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picasso's studio, rue de la Boetie, Painting of the Douanier Rousseau, Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Picasso's studio, rue de la Boetie, Painting of the Douanier Rousseau, Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Women with masks during the parade, 1931. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Women with masks during the parade, 1931. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Prostitute in a russian snooker, boulevard Rochechouart, Montmartre, circa 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Prostitute in a russian snooker, boulevard Rochechouart, Montmartre, circa 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Chat Colette, circa 1938. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Chat Colette, circa 1938. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, La duchesse de Zoé au bal des invertis du
Brassaï, La duchesse de Zoé au bal des invertis du "Magic-City", circa 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Le bal des invertis au
Brassaï, Le bal des invertis au "Magic-City", rue Cognacq-Jay, circa 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Party at Maxim's, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Party at Maxim's, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Marlène Dietrich billboard, 1937. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Marlène Dietrich billboard, 1937. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, On the Grand Boulevards, Paris, circa 1934. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, On the Grand Boulevards, Paris, circa 1934. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Couple on Bench at Night, circa 1930, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Couple on Bench at Night, circa 1930, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Two prostitutes soliciting, boulevard Montparnasse, circa 1931. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Two prostitutes soliciting, boulevard Montparnasse, circa 1931. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, French, Wake Up, circa 1946. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, French, Wake Up, circa 1946. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Salvador Dali at the villa Seurat. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Salvador Dali at the villa Seurat. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Au Bal de la Horde au
Brassaï, Au Bal de la Horde au "Bullier", Montparnasse, circa 1931. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Le pont Neuf, circa 1936. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Le pont Neuf, circa 1936. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Angry lovers at the
Brassaï, Angry lovers at the "ball des Quatre-Saisons", rue de Lappe, Paris, circa 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï,
Brassaï, "L'Arc-en-Ciel" at the Folies-Bergères, circa 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Le Négus (delivery meat guy at the Halles), circa 1935. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Le Négus (delivery meat guy at the Halles), circa 1935. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Bird from Notre Dame, 1933, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Bird from Notre Dame, 1933, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, La Belle de nuit, Italie area, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, La Belle de nuit, Italie area, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Prostitute, rue de Lappe, circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Prostitute, rue de Lappe, circa 1932, Paris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Nuée de rouille. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Nuée de rouille. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Jaune sur gris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Jaune sur gris. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Sous le ciel de Vénus. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Sous le ciel de Vénus. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Le pont Neuf, circa 1936. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Le pont Neuf, circa 1936. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The Eiffel Tower, 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The Eiffel Tower, 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Paris, 1933. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Paris, 1933. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Graffiti, Series VI:
Brassaï, Graffiti, Series VI: "Love", 1935-1950. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Couple au Bal Nègre, rue Blomet, circa 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Couple au Bal Nègre, rue Blomet, circa 1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lovers, circa 1932-1933. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lovers, circa 1932-1933. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lulu de Montparnasse dressed with a smoking with a woman at the
Brassaï, Lulu de Montparnasse dressed with a smoking with a woman at the "Monocle", circa 1933. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Happy fellows at the bal musette des Quatre-Saisons, rue de Lappe. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Happy fellows at the bal musette des Quatre-Saisons, rue de Lappe. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lovers dancing, Paris, 1930's. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lovers dancing, Paris, 1930's. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Kiki et son accordéoniste, Café des Fleurs. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Kiki et son accordéoniste, Café des Fleurs. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Woman dressing, 1930's. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Woman dressing, 1930's. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lovers, Paris, 1930's. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Lovers, Paris, 1930's. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Kids, Paris, 1930's. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Kids, Paris, 1930's. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Like a snake, Paris, circa 1932-1933. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Like a snake, Paris, circa 1932-1933. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Folies Bergère, circa 1930-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Folies Bergère, circa 1930-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, La cage aux fauves at the Folies Bergère, circa 1930-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, La cage aux fauves at the Folies Bergère, circa 1930-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Folies Bergère, circa 1930-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Folies Bergère, circa 1930-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Le Dompteur et ses Fauves, backstage at the Folies-Bergère, circa 1930-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, Le Dompteur et ses Fauves, backstage at the Folies-Bergère, circa 1930-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The spider at the Folies Bergère, circa 1930-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
Brassaï, The spider at the Folies Bergère, circa 1930-1932. Estate Brassaï - RMN-Grand Palais
close

Share this picture on