Bill Brandt-photographer-bio+study of "Perspective of Nudes"

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Bill Brandt (1904-83)

Perspective of Nudes

London 1951


Bill Brandt was born in Germany in 1904 and later moved to his hometown, London in 1931. He grew up during World War 1.

Brandt probably took up photography as a hobby when he was a patient undergoing treatment for tuberculosis in a sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland, in the 1920s. In 1927 he traveled to Vienna, Austria, where he was taken up by another doctor. She found him a position in a portrait studio. She also introduced him to the American poet Ezra Pound whom Brandt photographed. In appreciation, pound introduced Brandt to Man Ray.

Brandt worked as Man Ray's assistant in Paris for several months in 1930. Here he witnessed the height of surrealist film and grasped the new poetic possibilities of photography. Man ray was a major influence on Brandt. Man Ray's use of extreme grain for graphic effect in some of his nudes was later utilized in Brandt's own nude series.

Man Ray used radical cropping in a way that Brandt also mirrored. More than these technical borrowings, Brandt was clearly influenced by Man Ray's belief that in photography the end justifies any means that a photographer chooses to use.

When Brandt moved to England he supported himself by taking photos for magazines such as Liliput and Harper's bazaar and documented the effects of the depression.


Brandt's series of nudes were taken during the post world war 2 periods.

His series of famous nighttime photographs were taken during the early war period where at night there was no artificial light. Brandt took advantage of this time and took a series of beautiful entirely moonlight lit photographs.


There have been several exhibitions showcasing Brandt's work. In 2004, A Centenary Retrospective in its Exhibition...