BRASSAÏ, Fille de joie, quartier Italie Enlarge 1 /1


Romania 1899 – France 1984

  • France

Fille de joie, quartier Italie 1932 Place made: Paris, Île-de-France, Ville de Paris department, France
Creation Notes: printed c.1979
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Primary Insc: Signed, l.r., fibre-tipped pen, "Brassai" underlined. Repeated, reverse, l.r. Date, dictated by the artist to his wife who inscribed, reverse, l.c., pencil, "vers 1933". Title, dictated by the artist to his wife who inscribed, reverse, l.c., pencil, "Fille de joie, quartier / Italie" Tertiary inscriptions continued: Inscribed, reverse, u.r., pencil, "20".
Tertiary Insc: Stamp, reverse, l.l., "Tirage de l'Auteur". Stamp, reverse, l.c., "c (encircled) COPYRIGHT/BRASSAI". Inscribed, reverse, l.r., pencil, "Page 92/ PP. 333". Inscribed, reverse, l.r., pencil, "o".
Dimensions: printed image 28.4 h x 21.9 w cm sheet 30.3 h x 22.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.2623

For the surrealist photographer Brassai, night ‘frees powers within us which were controlled by reason during the day’. Brassai would take regular night walks with friends, photographing familiar parts of Paris in ways that rendered them strange and unfamiliar. Brassai’s interest in the darkness of the city rested as much with the pleasures that occur at night (sex, vice, crime and drugs) as with the particular kind of beauty elicited by darkness, the beauty of a city transformed by desire and pleasure.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra