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Campden Hill, London

Bill Brandt (British (born Germany), Hamburg 1904–1983 London)

Date:
April 1949
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
24.1 x 19.7 cm (9 1/2 x 7 3/4 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, and The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1986
Accession Number:
1986.1053.1
Rights and Reproduction:
© Bill Brandt / Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
  • Description

    Born to a prosperous mercantile family in Hamburg and educated in Europe, Brandt absorbed the lessons of the Surrealists while perfecting his photographic technique in Man Ray’s studio in Paris in 1929. He then settled in London, where, like his contemporaries André Kertész, Brassaï, and Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris, he made his name in the 1930s with photographs that pretended to objective reportage. His constant search for more expressive and poetic subjects brought him to the realization that his richest storehouse of imagery was not the external world but the mysterious chambers of his own imagination. In the psychologically haunting and formally inventive portraits and nudes of the next fifteen years, the photographer explored his private fantasies through the distorting lens of a wide-angle camera. The compressed space in Nude, Campden Hill, London, for instance, suggests both the incongruous scale inversions and claustrophobic Victorian atmosphere of Alice in Wonderland, one of Brandt’s favorite books, and the hallucinatory, kinesthetic exaggerations of the Surrealists.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscribed on print, verso, center: "April 1949"; bottom center: "#6"; stamped on print, verso, bottom center: "BILL BRANDT"

  • Provenance

    The Estate of Bill Brandt

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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