Brandt, Bill – British Photographer

A silver print of "St. Paul's Cathedral in the Moonlight" by Bill Brandt

p4A ItemID D9912294
Bill Brandt silver gelatin photograph, "Rainswept Roofs"

p4A ItemID D9662514
Bill Brandt (British, 1904-1983), Nude, Hampstead, 1952, printed later. Signed

p4A ItemID E8844161
Bill Brandt (British, 1904-1983), Rene Magritte, 1966, printed later. Signed

p4A ItemID E8844160

Bill Brandt (English, 1904 to 1983)

Bill Brandt was born into a family with a predilection for the arts. After a brief apprenticeship with a Viennese studio photographer, Brandt went to Paris and was introduced to Surrealism by his short-term employer, Man Ray. In 1931, Brandt was back in England, focusing on photojournalism. He photographed his British compatriots showing the great divides of the class structure. He began using the flash and his prints became distinctively dark, grainy, and high in contrast. He photographed miners, the British landscape, and important artistic figures of the day with the same stark eye.

In the mid-1940s, Brandt began to explore the nude using a wide-angle police camera. His early nudes were full-length studies with strong shadows, and the interiors dropping off and distorting in the background. Later on he abstracted body parts and landscape details, taking his models outside into the daylight.

Information courtesy of Swann Galleries Inc. October 2003

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