Capital City

London by Moonlight. The Bombed City, April 1942

Bill Brandt

London by Moonlight. The Bombed City, April 1942

Vintage Gelatin Silver Print

22.8 x 19.3 cms (8.96 x 7.58 ins)

1942

HC 10932

Provenance

The Estate of Bill Brandt
Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Exhibited

London Nights, Museum of London, London, 11 May - 11 November 2018 (This print)
Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty
, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 5 April - 20 July 2014 (This print)
Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light
, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 6 March - 12 August 2013

Literature

Sarah Hermanson Meister, Bill Brandt: Shadow & Light, (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2013), p. 87. (illustrated full page p.87).
Bill Jay and Nigel Warburton, Brandt: The Photography of Bill Brandt, Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1999 (illustrated p.140)
Bill Brandt, Shadow of Light, 1977 (illustrated p.58)

Titled in ink on verso: London by Moonlight. The Bombed City.
Also with photographer's 58 Hillfield Court stamp on verso.

Many of Brandt's night views of London during the Blitz were made during blackouts imposed in an attempt to make the city less vulnerable to German bombers. Brandt later wrote: "The darkened town, lit only by moonlight, looked more beautiful than before or since. It was fascinating to walk through the deserted streets and to photograph houses which I knew well, and which no longer looked three-dimensional, but flat like painted stage scenery."

Reflecting on photographs such as this, Brandt also subsequently wrote:

"The London of the last war was a different place from the London of 1938. The glamorous make-up of the world's largest city faded with the lights. Under the soft light of the moon the blacked-out town had a new beauty. The houses looked flat like painted scenery and the bombed ruins made strangely shaped silhouettes. Through the gaps new vistas were opened and for the first time the Londoner caught the full view of St Paul's Cathedral"

Other vintage prints of this picture are in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum, New York and the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago.

Copyright The Bill Brandt Archive, London / Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York / Zürich. 2018

British Photography / The Hyman Collection

Bill Brandt

London by Moonlight. The Bombed City, April 1942

Vintage Gelatin Silver Print

22.8 x 19.3 cms (8.96 x 7.58 ins)

1942

HC 10932

All images © the artist or copyright holder | Website © The Hyman Collection 2019