Brassaï & Paul Morand, PARIS DE NUIT / PARIS AFTER DARK, 1932/1933

Brassaï & Paul Morand, PARIS DE NUIT, Edition Arts et Métiers Graphiques, 1932 cover

 

Paul Morand, the french writer who wrote the text for this book, is prominently credited on the cover of this very special publication. Austro-Hungarian Brassaï (real name Gyula Halász) studied in Budapest and Berlin and moved to Paris in 1924, where he began working as a journalist. His friend André Kertész tutored and encouraged him to use a camera, as a way of earning an additional income by illustrating his own articles.

The beauty of Paris de Nuit (Paris after dark) lies in its many layers. The sequencing of the pages is clever and entertaining, but what makes this book so outstanding is its breathtaking gravure printing quality. The graphic design is stunning and fresh, predating the hip life-style magazines of the late 1980s and 90s like iD or Interview by more than 50 years.
Brassaï was 34 at the time of publication. His universally acclaimed night photographs are visually of their time, while creatively and technically ahead of their time, and have been an inspiration to many photographers since this book’s publication in 1932.
The only ‘weak’ part of this book is its spiral binding, very common at the time. This has made it almost impossible to find a copy in perfect condition, as the pages so easily tear. At the same time is it exactly this spiral binding that adds that special touch to this outstanding photobook.

Published by Arts et Métiers Graphiques, Paris in 1932

60 photographs

Spiral bound stiff card wrappers

19 x 25cm

74 pages

 

 

 

 

Brassaï & Paul Morand, PARIS DE NUIT / PARIS AFTER DARK, 1933 (English language edition)

 

Brassaï & Paul Morand, PARIS DE NUIT / PARIS AFTER DARK, Edition Arts et Métiers Graphiques, 1933 cover

The English language edition is almost identical to the French, with the obvious exception of the cover, which has the addition of an English title written in turquoise directly below the red French title.

This version contains a binding error: the page which belongs just before the text was instead bound in immediately after the text. This rather confusingly splits up a double-page photograph. The holes were even punched down the wrong side, so this error must have occurred at the book binder. All English language copies that I have seen so far are bound like this.

Translation by Stuart Gilbert

Published by Arts et Métiers Graphiques, Paris in 1933

60 photographs

Spiral bound stiff card wrappers

19 x 25cm

74 pages

 

 

 

 

ARTS ET MÉTIERS GRAPHIQUES PARIS, 1933

 

Arts et Metiers Graphiques Paris, No. 33, January 1933, Cover back and front

Arts et Métiers Graphiques Paris, No. 33, January 1933, Cover back and front

 

A four-page article promoting Brassai’s book Paris de Nuit was published in the French arts magazine Arts et Métiers Graphiques Paris (pages 24 to 27). Brassai’s own text deals with the technical details of his night photography.

Arts et Métiers Graphiques Paris, No. 33, published 15th January 1933.

 

Soft cover

24.5 x 31cm

 

Arts_et_Metiers_Graphiques_Paris_No._33_Janvier_1933_p24-25Arts_et_Metiers_Graphiques_Paris_No._33_Janvier_1933_p26

 

 

 

 

 

 

See these other related publications:

 

Hermann Larsen, Kobenhavn ved nat - 48 Fotografier, 1935

Hermann Larsen, Kobenhavn ved nat – 48 Fotografier, 1935

Dick de Herder, Amsterdam, 1947

Dick de Herder, Amsterdam, 1947