Dreams of Desire 47 (Brassai)

Brassai-Nude 1949
One of the greatest of 20th century photographers, Brassai’s reputation rests largely on the iconic images of Parisian street and night life he captured in his 1933 book Paris de nuit (Paris by night), which with its noir, atmospheric depiction of fog bound streets, bustling cafes and brothel scenes populated by lovers, prostitutes, pimps and other coldly calculating seekers of pleasure, forever sealed in the popular imagination the myth of Paris as the quintessential bohemian city. Considering the milieu he portrayed it is maybe no surprise that Brassai was also a master of the nude study. Many of his more abstract and experimental nudes of the 1930’s were featured in the Surrealist magazine Minotaure.

Born Gyula Halasz in Brasov, Transylvania, at the time part of Hungary, later Romania, in 1899,  Brassai studied in Budapest and Berlin before moving to Paris in 1924, where he would live for the rest of his life. Here he adopted his pseudonym Brassai, taken from the name of his home town. He took up photography initially only to supplement his income, however he soon realised that it was the perfect medium to capture the nocturnal essence of Paris. He was a friend to many of the artists and writers of the period, including Henry Miller, Salvador Dali, Picasso, Henri Matisse and Alberto Giacometti.

I have including below a mixture of his experimental and documentary studies of the female form.


80 thoughts on “Dreams of Desire 47 (Brassai)

  1. Wow, these are amazing. Love the use of light in the bottom left photo – she almost appears to be swimming though deep water, lit from above. It also makes me want to go lingerie shopping! After I go on a diet…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love Brassai… his photo is in about page, one of the Henry Green posts and the WWI post on Apollinaire, so I thought it was about time to dedicate a post to his nudes, because there is just not enough nudes on the site. It is a great photo of the amphora. What can I say about lingerie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well any sense of gravitas has gone out of the window with this comment thread. I feel like a disapproving school teacher with unruly school girls causing chaos. A bit of funny never hurt anyone.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, these are gorgeous. I love the one Meg likes to and the one before it where she’s kind of twisted. Very beautiful curves on these models.

    Liked by 2 people

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