friday feature: Brassai


Born at the turn of the 20th century in 1899, photographer Brassai (real name Gyula Halász) first lived in Brassó, Transsylvania.

Brassai spent a year of his childhood in Paris and, enamoured with the city, he decided to move to Paris permanently aged 24.  He worked as a journalist for a few years; it was at this time he discovered photography and took photographs “in order to capture the beauty of streets and gardens in the rain and fog, and to capture Paris by night.”

Brassai’s quietly dramatic portraits of night time Parisian scenes really capture the character of the city, with moody lighting, high contrast and occasional soft focus.

Photography: Brassai

Photography: Brassai

Photography: Brassai

Street photographer Brassai is also renowned for his portrait photography. His recognition in this field was certainly helped by his photography subjects; artist celebrities such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse all sat for him.

Picasso, Photography: Brassai

Dali, Photography: Brassai

Matisse, Photography: Brassai

A couple of favourites:

Matisse, Photography: Brassai

Photography: Brassai

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