Art of the 20th Century


Art Styles in 20th century Art Map


Bill Brandt


Bill Brandt

Bill Brandt (1904 – 1983) was an influential British photographer and photojournalist known for his high-contrast images of British society and his distorted nudes and landscapes.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, son of a British father and German mother, Brandt grew up during World War I. Shortly after the war, he contracted tuberculosis and spent much of his youth in a sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland. He traveled to Vienna to undertake a course of treatment for TB by psychoanalysis. He was in any case pronounced cured and began an apprenticeship in a portrait studio in the city. When Ezra Pound visited a mutual friend, Eugenie Schwarzwald, Brandt made his portrait. In appreciation, Pound offered Brandt an introduction to Man Ray, in whose Paris studio, Brandt would assist in 1930.

In 1933 Brandt moved to London and began documenting all levels of British society. This kind of documentary was uncommon at that time. Brandt published two books showcasing this work, The English at Home (1936) and A Night in London (1938). He was a regular contributor to magazines such as Lilliput, Picture Post, and Harper's Bazaar. He documented the Underground bomb shelters of London during The Blitz in 1940, commissioned by the Ministry of Information.

During World War II, Brandt focused every kind of subject - as can be seen in his "Camera in London" (1948) but excelled in portraiture and landscape. To mark the arrival of peace in 1945 he began a celebrated series of nudes. His major books from the post-war period are Literary Britain (1951), and Perspective of Nudes (1961), followed by a compilation of the best of all areas of his work, Shadow of Light (1966). Brandt became Britain's most influential and internationally admired photographer of the 20th century. Many of his works have important social commentary but also poetic resonance. His landscapes and nudes are dynamic, intense and powerful, often using wide-angle lenses and distortion



Miners Returning to Daylight, South Wales


Window in Osborn Street


Evening in Kenwood


East End girl, doing the Lambeth Walk


Parlourmaid at a window in Kensington


Parlourmaid and under-parlourmaid ready to serve dinner


Coal Searcher Going Home to Jarrow


Street Scene


Dylan Thomas


Hampstead, London


Portrait of a Young Girl, Eaton Place, London


East Sussex Coast


Francis Bacon


Paul Schofield




East Durham Coalminer, Just Home from the Pit


Rainswept Roofs


Train Leaving Newcastle


Miss Hibbott


At the Elephant and Castle Underground Station


London (Nude), c.1945


London, 1958


Vasarely, 1964


Giacometti, 1963


Jean Dubuffet, 1960


Tapies, 1964


Jean Arp, 1960










Young Housewife, Bethnal Green, London






Self Portrait with Mirror, East Sussex Coast


Jean Dubuffet


La Seine Neuilly, Vu de la Grande Tatte


A Snicket in Halifax





Nude, London, 1959


Nude, East Sussex Coast, 1957


Hampstead, London, 1956


The Haunted Bathroom, Campden Hill, London, 1948


Nude, Campden Hill, London, 1950


Nude, London, 1950


Nude, London, 1950


Nude abstraction


Nude, Campden Hill, London, 1954


Nude, Baie des Anges, France, 1959


Nude, Taxo d'Avral, France, 1957


Nude, Campden Hill, London, 1947


Nude, Campden Hill, London, 1949


Micheldever, Hampshire, 1948


Nude, Camden Hill, London, 1958


Nude, Hampstead, London, 1952
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