Bill Brandt’s position as one of the greatest British photographers of the 20th century is incontestable. His name and achievement fit easily within the pantheon of international ‘greats’ of modern photography: Atget, Brassai, Kertdsz and Cartier-Bresson. Brandt’s career began in 1920s Paris, when he was introduced by Ezra Pound to Man Ray, who took him on as an apprentice and who inspired the surrealistic vision characteristic of his early pictures. His first great work spanned a whole decade: an encyclopaedic study of the social conditions of Britain in the Thirties, culminating in two famous cycles, “The English at Home” (1936) and “A Night in London” (1938). In the Second World War and the years that followed Brandt expanded his range to include portraiture, landscape and nudes. Patiently delving after the uniqueness of every person or place – the sadness of Dylan Thomas, the bleakness of Wuthering Heights or the qualities of the female form – his vision conferred a timeless, mythic quality on both the notable and the ordinary. This retrospective review of Brandt’s work, edited with an introduction by Ian Jeffrey, is published on the occasion of a major exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery, London. Its six sections cover every aspect of his art, from the early sociological studies to the late nudes. Many celebrated images are included, but others have never been seen in book form before. Ian Jeffrey is the author of many books, including “Landscape” (1984) and “Photography: A Concise History” (1981), both published by Thames and Hudson.