Brandt, Bill

orig. Hermann Wilhelm Brandt

born May 1904, Hamburg, Ger.
died Dec. 20, 1983, London, Eng.

German-born British photographer.

In 1929 he worked in the studio of Man Ray in Paris. He returned to England in 1931 and took up photojournalism, documenting English industrial workers in the 1930s and covering the home front during World War II. His work reveals the influence of Eugène Atget, Brassaï, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. He is best known for his photographs of British life and especially for his unconventional nudes; he placed his wide-angle camera at close range to the human body, causing a distorted effect that transformed the human body into a series of abstract designs.

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▪ British photographer
byname of  Hermann Wilhelm Brandt 
born May 1904, Hamburg, Germany
died December 20, 1983, London, England

      photographer known principally for his documentation of 20th-century British life and for his unusual nudes.

      Following early schooling in Germany and a stay in Switzerland, during which he took up photography, Brandt briefly worked in the Paris studio of the American artist and photographer Man Ray in 1929. In 1931 he returned to England and became a freelance photojournalist, producing a series of photographs depicting the daily life of all strata of English society; they were published as The English at Home (1936). Many of these photographs reveal the influence of Eugène Atget (Atget, Eugène), Brassaï, and Henri Cartier-Bresson (Cartier-Bresson, Henri), all of whom similarly documented their immediate surroundings. Brandt's debt to these photographers is also evident in his subsequent collection, A Night in London (1938).

      In the late 1930s, working as a photojournalist for Lilliput and Picture Post, Brandt began to photograph the industrial cities and coal-mining districts of northern England, creating images that reveal the desperation of England's industrial workers during the 1930s. When World War II began, Brandt became a staff photographer for the British Home Office, capturing home-front scenes such as Londoners crowded into air-raid shelters in the city's underground train stations. He also made photographs such as St. Paul's Cathedral in the Moonlight (1942), which reveals the ghostly beauty of London's deserted streets during the blackouts.

      After the war Brandt photographed a series of landscapes associated with English literature, published as Literary Britain (1951). His work in the 1950s became increasingly expressionistic, culminating in his best-known collection, Perspective of Nudes (1961). In several of these photographs he placed his extremely wide-angle fixed-focus camera at close range to the human body; this caused distortion and transformed the human figure into a series of abstract designs. In other photographs from this time, however, Brandt made the distorted human form become an integral element of a stark landscape of cliffs and rocky beach. He published two collections of his work, Shadow of Light (1966; rev. ed., 1977) and Bill Brandt Nudes: 1945–1980 (1980).

Additional Reading
Nigel Warburton (ed.), Bill Brandt: Selected Texts and Bibliography (1993).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brandt, Bill — orig. Hermann Wilhelm Brandt (may. 1904, Hamburgo, Alemania–20 dic. 1983, Londres, Inglaterra). Fotógrafo británico de origen alemán. En 1929 trabajó en el estudio de Man Ray en París. Regresó a Inglaterra en 1931 y se dedicó al reportaje… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bill Brandt — (May 3, 1904 ndash; December 20, 1983) was an influential British photographer and photojournalist known for his high contrast images of British society and his distorted nudes and landscapes. Bold text Career and lifeBorn in Hamburg, Germany,… …   Wikipedia

  • Bill Brandt — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Bill Brandt Nacimiento 3 de mayo de 1904 Hamburgo Fallecimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • BRANDT (B.) — BRANDT BILL (1904 1983) D’origine britannique mais ayant passé son enfance en Allemagne et en Suisse en raison d’une santé précaire, Bill Brandt se détourne en 1929 d’un avenir d’architecte pour s’initier à la photographie dans l’atelier de Man… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Bill Brandt — [Bill Brandt] (1904–83) a German photographer who worked mainly in Britain after 1931. He is well known for his photographs showing the contrasts between the lives of the different English social classes in the 1930s, and for his ↑nudes …   Useful english dictionary

  • Brandt — Brandt, Willy * * * (as used in expressions) Brandt, Bill Hermann Wilhelm Brandt Brandt, Willy …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bill — Bill, Max * * * (as used in expressions) Bill of Rights (Declaración de derechos) Bill, Max Blass, Bill Bradley, Bill Brandt, Bill Clinton, Bill Buffalo Bill Cosby, Bill …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bill Brandt — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Brandt. Bill Brandt (3 mai 1904 20 décembre 1983) était un photographe et photojournaliste anglais. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • bill — (voz inglesa) ► masculino POLÍTICA Proyecto de ley sometido al parlamento. * * * (as used in expressions) Bill of Rights (Declaración de derechos) Bill, Max Blass, Bill Bradley, Bill Brandt, Bill Clinton, Bill …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Brandt — /brant/; Ger. /brddahnt/, n. Willy /wil ee/; Ger. /vil ee/, born 1913, West German political leader: chancellor 1969 74; Nobel peace prize 1971. * * * (as used in expressions) Brandt Bill Hermann Wilhelm Brandt Brandt Willy * * * …   Universalium

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