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Brassaï: Paris Nocturne [Hardcover]

Sylvie Aubenas , Quentin Bajac
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: £51.14
Price: £37.66 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

12 Aug 2013
Brassaï (18991984) was the first and is still the most famous photographer to chronicle Paris after dark. Born in Hungary, he came to the French capital in 1924, working first as a journalist and then embracing photography, but it was the Paris of the 1930s that came to form the bedrock of his body of work. Walking the city streets at night, Brassaï discovered a previously unseen world and captured it on camera. He shows us every face and every facet, from tough guys and showgirls to prostitutes and pleasure-seekers, from the bustling cafés and dance halls to the stillness of deserted streets and mist-shrouded monuments. Through his eyes, Paris becomes a world of shadows, in which light, the prerequisite for any photograph, is reduced to dimly lit windows, streetlamps in the fog, or reflections on a rain-soaked pavement. Although firmly rooted in its time and place, Brassaïs night photography is nonetheless timeless in its appeal. Full of beauty, bleakness and insight, these images assure his place among the greatest photographers of the 20th century.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd (12 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500544255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500544259
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 3 x 30.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 417,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A gloriously shabby tapestry of Parisian life ... beautifully produced ... a joy. --The Times

Elegant --The Sunday Telegraph

Full of beauty, bleakness and insight, these images assure his place among the greatest photographers of the 20th century. --Hungry Eye

Excellent ... classic images. --Source Magazine

Reveals much about the photographer ... shows the diversity of themes even within the nighttime genre ... brings together his most iconic images ... the photographs of people in bars and brothels certainly capture a specific view of nighttime Paris in the early 1930s. --The Royal Photographic Society

A truly excellent, historic body of work and is a clear example of why Brassaï is still considered a master. A vital purchase for the serious collector of photography books --Amateur Photographer

rich in detail and historical connections, we re-visit the images with a renewed insight. --Black & White Photography

A truly excellent, historic body of work and is a clear example of why Brassaï is still considered a master. A vital purchase for the serious collector of photography books --Amateur Photographer

rich in detail and historical connections, we re-visit the images with a renewed insight. --Black & White Photography

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No new angles 13 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ok, it's a book on Brassai, nothing different, no undiscovered facts. The real enjoyment is from the photographs that are obtainable in several other publications. Take your choice.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 9 Sep 2013
By N. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an English translation of a collection previously released in French as "Brassaï: Le flâneur nocturne", and according to the commentary inside, it reproduces most of the photographs from Brassaï's "Paris After Dark" and "The Secret Paris of the 30's". The photographs which are missing are (according to the authors of the explanatory essays here) those of opium dens, as the photographer specifically stated he did not want these reprinted after his death.

Even with those omissions this is an evocative (and at times disturbing) work. I didn't know anything about Brassaï when I bought this book, but I had seen it recommended by another photographer I enjoy, Michael Penn. Brassaï spent most of the nights of the early 1930s prowling the streets of Paris, photographing all night and sleeping all day. His intent was to capture a sense of the place while making beautiful art, and he succeeds admirably. These are amazing photos, and not just in a "wow, it's amazing they could do that in 1934" sense, but in an absolute sense. It is an evocative snapshot of Depression-era Europe. We see workers emptying cesspools, tramps sleeping in alleys, dancers preparing to go on stage, and prostitutes waiting provocatively on lonely corners. All the while, he manages to capture the beauty and tragedy in the scene. I will enjoy these photos for some time to come, and as an amateur photographer, I will learn from them as well.

The book itself is excellent quality, printed on thick paper, and with excellent reproduction of the images. While most of the 214 plates are full-page or almost full page 8x10s, there are about 90 plates which are smaller reproductions, with two or three to a page. The book is divided in three sections, one for each of the books previously published, and now (mostly) republished here, and the pictures not included in his more famous works. This third section has almost no photographs of people, but does have some very impressive (especially for 1934) shots of lightning and fireworks. On the whole though I think the photos in the first two sections are much stronger. If you already own the first two books, this may not be worth the purchase, but since I haven't seen the prior ones, I can't comment on differences in printing quality. This is an extremely well done book, and even these less memorable images are quite good.

Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best book of Brassai's photos 2 Nov 2013
By A voracious reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I own several other books of Brassai's photos, but this one is my new favorite. Not only is the selection of photos terrific and not only are the photos printed on high-quality paper, but there's also some wonderful ephemera (such as newspaper photos) to round out the enjoyment of this lovely book.
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