In Eugène Atget's study of a dignified tree, shadows on the ground mirror the bare branches above. Atget created this symmetrical image when the sun was high, allowing a horizontal axis to center the composition. Although it is a simple subject, the image's nervous radial patterning of branch and shadow convey an unsettling dancing energy. The play of light and shadow was an infrequent subject for Atget, who masterfully exploited their properties in this photograph.

Artists, to whom Atget marketed his work, would certainly have found this photograph to be a valuable source of imagery when executing drawings and paintings of landscapes.


  • Title: Arbre (Garche) Hêtre
  • Creator: Eugène Atget
  • Date Created: 1910–1915
  • Location Created: Garche, France
  • Physical Dimensions: 21.7 × 17.5 cm (8 9/16 × 6 7/8 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Albumen silver print
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 90.XM.64.48
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Eugène Atget (French, 1857 - 1927)
  • Classification: Photographs (Visual Works)

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