Sep 7, 2007


With his camera, Brassai captured images that were traditional in Parisian life, but he explored those images in new ways. The nightlife in Paris was a particular focus for Brassai. Madame Bijou is a photograph of an old woman who once led a rich life but now lives on charity. She read palms and told stories to receive food and money from gullible men. When Brassai took her picture and later wrote about her in his book, she felt very insulted and humiliated.
Here, Miss Diamonds is depicted as an elderly woman, wearing ragged clothing, and laced with fake jewels. Her neck is heavily decorated with necklaces, chains, and chokers and her plump fingers display over a dozen rings, and are intertwined in fake pearls. She wore a ragged black cape that was torn and shiny in spots, which created a very unique look.

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