Music for the children of our time

The Edukators

The angry man of sculpture

Attack on artistic freedom in Russia

Pushing at the edges

The secret life of objects

Porcelain that challenged the world

Bill Brandt

Heaven on Earth: Art from Islamic Lands


The inspiration of Italian cinema


Pissarro in London

Of Villains and Villeins

Piazzas on the eve of destruction

Modernism resurgent

Wilkie - Painter of everyday life

Techno-gothic fusion


Gagarin Way


Vietnam behind the lines

Romney - mirroring the gentry

Caspar David Friedrich - the essential Romantic

The awesome effects of the sublime

Earth & fire

Paul Klee: The nature of creation

John Pilger's Great Eyewitness Photographers

Sarah Medway: In the Realm of the Senses

A glimpse of the Hermitage

Vermeer at the National Gallery

Paul Signac: Travels in France

The other story of British abstract art

Breaking the silence

Century City

Digitising the Hermitage

Ghosts of christmas past

The disasters of war

Picturing the people's game

Picasso as political icon

An art world Schindler

British modernism reclaimed

Brush Power

The modern bronze age

The first museum of modern art

Six women who shook the world

Frances Aviva Blane

Caro's challenge

Ellsworth Kelly at the Tate

Magnum resists the lure of the dollar

Rebel behind the American movement

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Bill Brandt - a centenary retrospective

Once seen, rarely forgotten - Bill Brandt's photographs subtly take possession of our visual memory. Although - or perhaps because - he came to Britain with a Continental sensibility, this shy and complex man captured the class essence of his adopted country. In the 1930s he visited the north of England. One image, showing a miner at his evening meal, aches with dignity and exhaustion. The miner, his face and fingers black with coaldust sits down to his tea, his wife looking on. Behind his shoulder is a sewing machine, carefully covered with a spotless lace doily. Above their heads clothes hang drying. In sharp contrast is an image of parlourmaids ready to serve dinner, On the gleaming table before them are three glasses for wine and spirits with a variety of side plates.

Parlourmaids ready to serve dinner, 1938

But Brandt was never content just to document social class. His view of industrial England and its workers is infused its own poetry, as in Domino Players, North London, a combination of Cezanne, Lowry and cinematic psychology. Like sculptor Henry Moore, Brandt found war-time London provided him with subjects, such as people sleeping on Tube platforms.

Nude, Belgravia, 1951

After the war, Brandt did a series of stunning nudes using a new camera which allowed him to distort limbs in a surrealist fashion, again adding mystery and atmosphere. Portrait shots of Picasso, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Peter Sellers, Graham Greene show yet another side of the artist-photographer. Everywhere he turned his lens, poetry appears as though by magic.

Thanks to the Bill Brandt archive, we can see his vintage prints close-up, as well as a short film. Victoria and Albert Museum until July 25. Admission £6/£4/£3.