Gelatin silver print
Image: 37.9 x 28 cm (14 15/16 x 11 in.); Matted: 55.9 x 45.7 cm (22 x 18 in.)
© The Brassaï Estate - RMN
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Anselm Talalay in honor of Evan Turner 1992.97
Gyula Halász photographed under the pseudonym Brassaï, or person from Brassó, his birthplace in Hungary (now Brașov, Romania).
Brassaï's best-known photographs of the 1930s describe the nocturnal atmosphere of Paris, recording the misty streets and smoke-filled cafés frequented by artists, poets, writers, and other colorful characters. Although working with a cumbersome magnesium flash, Brassaï was so sensitive to his surroundings that his subjects remained entirely at ease before the camera. This photograph, taken at a bar owned by Lulu de Montparnasse on the rue Edgar Quinet, captures a relaxed couple enjoying a late evening. Brassaï was one of the first to exploit the full pictorial possibilities of night photography, creating a new aesthetic based on the curious and harsh effects of gas and electric lights.
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