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BRASSAÏ (1899-1984)
BRASSAÏ (1899-1984)

Hôtel Dieu, Seen from Notre Dame, 1933

Details
BRASSAÏ (1899-1984)
Hôtel Dieu, Seen from Notre Dame, 1933
gelatin silver print
signed, dated in pencil, titled in ink,'rue du Faubourg St.- Jacques', picture agency stamps and label affixed (on the verso)
7¾ x 9 5/8in. (19.7 x 24.4cm.)
Provenance
With Houk Friedman, New York;
to the present owner
Literature
Brassaï, Camera in Paris, Focal Press, 1949, p.32, for a variant; and Brassaï, Le Paris Secret des Années Trentes, Gallimard, 1976, p.15, for a variant cropping.

Lot Essay

In order to gain access to this vantage point, Brassai bribed the concierge of Notre Dame. About that experience he wrote: "'Follow me,' the concierge whispered in a muffled voice. We were like conspirators in a Victor Hugo novel. She carried a bunch of keys, and with them she opened the heavy door. We climbed the spiral staircase. It was totally dark; the climb lasted an eternity. At last, we reached the open platform. Completely out of breath, my accomplice collapsed into her chair. Impatient, enraptured, I ran beside the balustrade. It was more beautiful than I had imagined! The dark, indefinable shapes were black as night, the fog over Paris was milk white! Scarcely discernible, the Hotel-Dieu, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Quartier Latin, the Sorbonne, were luminous and somber shapes... Paris was ageless, bodiless... Present and past, history and legend intermingled."
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