Book of the Bird
'A charming book that finds birds appearing in famous art' -Entertainment Weekly
'An elegant collection' -Bird Watching Magazine
'You don't have to be a twitcher to enjoy this picture book for adults that children will enjoy, too' -The Lady Magazine
'A winner, a charming oddity' -Cage and Aviary Birds
Bill Brandt, Early Morning on the Thames, London 1939
Early Morning on the Thames captures a moment in the life of the East End of London, during the last summer of peace. The photograph of the serene gull, gliding between moon and docks, is all the more remarkable when seen in context of the time.
Although Bill Brandt is considered to be one of the giants of twentieth century photography — straddling documentary portraiture as well as art — he earned his living via the pictorial magazines, moving among the English as a discreet voyeur. German-born and Paris-trained, he carried a Rolleiflex, enabling him to take photographs from the hip, little noticed.
The seagull was part of an essay for a picture weekly by the name of Lilliput, in 1939. Brandt's pictures of contemporary London ran alongside engravings by Gustave Doré, another non-native observer, who had caused a stir with his studies of the far reaches of city life, seventy years before. Lilliput's essay was titled 'Unchanging London' at a time when everything, besides the presence of seagulls, was about to change forever.