• Brassai and his wife Gilberte in a self-portrait in their home, 1946
    Brassaï et Gilberte, 1946

    photograph of Brassai's signature


    early prints from the collection of madame BRASSAÏ



    10 - 30 November 2022


  • Just as night birds and nocturnal animals bring a forest to life when its daytime fauna fall silent and go to ground, so night in a large city brings out of its den an entire population that lives its life completely under cover of darkness.




    During my first years in Paris, beginning in 1924, I lived at night, going to bed at sunrise, getting up at sunset, wandering about the city from Montparnasse to Montmartre. And even though I had always ignored and even disliked photography before, I was inspired to become a photographer by my desire to translate all the things that enchanted me in the nocturnal Paris I was experiencing. — Brassaï

    • framed photograph of woman in black corset, by Brassai

      Le Corset Noir, 1932

    • woman in opium den in Paris in 1930s by Brassai

      L'Opiomane, c. 1931

  • One winter night in 1932, around two in the morning, I went into a small bar in Montmartre, the Bar...
    La Môme Bijou, Bar de la Lune, Paris, c. 1932
    One winter night in 1932, around two in the morning, I went into a small bar in Montmartre, the Bar de la Lune. The first figure I made out through the cloud of smoke was that of an ageless woman who was sitting alone with a glass of red wine in her hand. Her dark clothes glittered strangely. Her bosom was covered with an incredible quantity of jewelry: brooches, lavaliers, chokers, clips, chains—a veritable Christmas tree of garlands, of glittering stars.[...] I was struck by this fantastic apparition that had sprung up out of the night, like an entomologist by a rare and monstrously beautiful insect. I had discovered what had to be the queen of Montmartre's nocturnal fauna. — Brassaï
  • Brassaï (1899 – 1984) was born Gyula Halász in the Transylvanian town of Brasso, Hungary (today Romania). After passing through Berlin, the artist moved to Paris in 1924. There, he adopted his pseudonym, which means “from Brasso,” and supported himself as a journalist. His acquisition of a camera in 1930, in addition to a friendship with fellow Hungarian artist André Kertész, led Brassaï to devote himself to photography. Retrospectives of the artist’s work have been organized at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and most recently at Fundación MAPFRE’s Barcelona gallery, Casa Garriga i Nogués.