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Paris de Nuit.
Paris: Édition Arts et Métiers Graphiques, [1933].

(248 × 192 mm), pp.[i], 1, [xii], 2–62, [1]. 64 black-and-white photographs printed in gravure. Original spiral-bound black-and-white photo-illustrated card wrappers, text in red; marks to fore-edge and lower side touched up with black ink by a previous owner, bottom tab on upper side detached from spiral binding.

First edition. Brassaï studied painting in Budapest and Berlin before settling in Paris in early 1924. He enjoyed exploring Paris at night, roaming the mostly empty streets, parks, cafes, and bars, occasionally accompanied by Léon-Paul Fargue or Raymond Queneau. Around 1930 he sought a means to express these sights so he borrowed a small camera and began to carry it with him. Brassaï’s ability to observe details and scenes that usually went unnoticed led Henry Miller, who based a character in The Tropic of Cancer (1934) on him, to remark in The Wisdom of the Heart (1941) that he ‘has that rare gift which so many artists despise — normal vision. He has no need to distort or deform, no need to lie or to preach… When you met the man you see at once that he is equipped with no ordinary eyes. His eyes have that perfect, limpid sphericity, that all-embracing voracity which makes the falcon or the shark a shuddering sentinel of reality’.

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