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mheu, Historical Museum of the Urban Environment

Cesspit Emptiers with their Pump, Rue Rambuteau

Halasz Gyula (aka Brassaï)

Cesspit Emptiers with their Pump, Rue Rambuteau - Halasz Gyula (aka Brassaï)

gelatin silver print
17cm x 22cm
Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou
© Brassaï Estate - Photo CNAC/MNAM, Dist. RMN / Adam Rzepka

View this work in The Street exhibition

The artist

Halasz Gyula, more commonly known by the name "Brassaï", was born in 1899 in Brasso (hence the pseudonym), a town that at the time lay in Hungary—"Brasov" is now part of Romania. After studying art in Budapest and Berlin, he moved to Paris and began to explore photography. There, he spent his time in the company of surrealists while continuing to paint and sculpt. However, he is most well known for his photographs, mostly involving portraits of artists, as well as his images of Paris by night and his pictures of graffiti (one of which was used as the cover of the first edition of Paroles by Jacques Prévert).

Towards the end of his life, after winning many accolades and distinctions, Brassaï turned his back on photography to focus more on sculpture. He died on the French Riviera in 1984.