Brassaï – aka Gyula Halász (1899-1984, Hungarian)

Brassaï 1973 Ansel Adams

Brassaï, 1973
Ansel Adams

Brassaï (meaning coming from Brasso) was also known as Gyula Halász (1899-1984). Brassaï became a famous photographer, filmmaker and sculptor in the period between the two World Wars. Before joining a cavalry regiment in the Austro-Hungarian army and serving until the end of WWI, Brassaï studied painting and sculpture at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts. After WWI, Brassaï  moved to Paris where he would live for the rest of his life. At first he worked as a journalist becoming friends with Henry Miller and Jacques Prévert.  Later Brassaï learned that he could supplement his income by adding photographs to his articles. Brassaï captured the essence of night-time Paris, in particular the district of Montparnasse, in his photographs, and his 1933 book Paris de nuit was a success.  He photographed is friends: Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Alberto Giacometti also all famous cat lovers. Many of Brassaï’s own photographs capture cats in natural city settings, but some photographs purposely depict the cat as mysterious and symbolic of desire, femininity, and motherhood. In 1948, he gained international fame through his exhibition of photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  He is buried in Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.

cat and bottles 1938



Cat on a Window Ledge 1938

Cat on a Window Ledge


Cat and Hat 1937

Cat and Hats


White Cat 1938

White Cat


Untitled cat in window 1930



Chat Colette 1938

Chat Colette


Woman with a Cat in an Opium Den 1931

Woman with a Cat in an Opium Den


Black Cat 1945, Brassai, cats in photographs

Black Cat


Elizabeth with the Cat Lududu 1942, cat photography

Elizabeth with the Cat


Cat in the Window, cat photography

Cat in the Window


Bistrot Cat 1944 cat photographs

Bistrot Cat


Tramp with his Cat, cat photography

Tramp with his Cat


Cat and Kittens, cat photography

Cat and Kittens


Pregnant Woman with Cat in window, cat photography

Pregnant Woman with Cat in Window


Black Cat on Steps 1945, cat photography

Black Cat on Steps


Stray Cat, cat photography

Stray Cat


Brassai cat, cat photography


cat photography


cats, cat photography


Concierge with Cats Paris 1946, cat photography

Concierge with Cats


Jean Paul Sartre with Cat, cat photography

Jean Paul Sartre with Cat


cat photography, Brassai



Jacques Prévert and Cat 1948, cat photography

Jacques Prévert and Cat


Cat on a Windowsill 1953, cat photography

Cat on a Windowsill


Cat of Athens 1953, cat photography

Cat of Athens


Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you.  Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 



Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats


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