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Black and white photography by Brassaï featuring the behind view of nude women standing

Brassaï, Chez ‘Suzy’, la presentation (At Suzy’s, introductions), c. 1932-1933. © ESTATE BRASSAÏ – RMN-Grand Palais.

The Hungarian-French photographer and writer Brassaï arrived in Paris in 1924, where he commenced a decades-long focus on capturing colourful and often sinister facets of nocturnal Paris, particularly of the neighbourhoods of Montparnasse and Montmartre, which have historically served as hubs for artistic circles in the city. This exhibition includes 39 photographs from the 1930s provide a voyeuristic glimpse into both Parisian high society and the its underground world, which the artist felt represented “Paris at its least cosmopolitan [but] at its most alive, its most authentic”, he explained in 1976. Among the highlights, the image Chez Suzy, la preséntation (At Suzy’s, introductions) (1932-33) uncannily recreates The Judgement of Paris—the Greek mythological story of a beauty contest between the goddesses Aphrodite, Hera and Athena, which is the subject of artworks by Peter Paul Rubens and other Old Masters—by replacing the subjects with three prostitutes and Brassaï’s bodyguard, who sometimes accompanied him on his nightly excursions. — Gabriella Angeleti

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