Eugène Atget: 12 works

A slideshow of artworks auto-selected from multiple collections

By Google Arts & Culture

Marchand d'Abat-Jours (1901) by Eugène AtgetThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'As a photographer of "documents for artists," Atget recorded these figures in the hope that they would be of use to his clients.'

Maison Place du Caire 2 (Building, Place du Caire) (1903) by Eugène AtgetThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'Eugène Atget revealed his interest in historic architecture in a letter describing the inventory of negatives that he hoped to sell to the École des Beaux-Arts: "I have amassed ... artistic documents of fine civil architecture" from the 1500s through the 1800s, "old hotels, historic or curious houses, ... fine facades." Inevitably, Atget also recorded bystanders in his urban photographs; they became fundamental elements of the final images.'

Au Petit Bacchus, rue St. Louis en l'Ile, 61 (Shop Sign, rue St. St. Louis en l'Ile) (1908) by Eugène AtgetThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'He marketed his series of prints, entitled "documents for artists," to a modest clientele of artists who would have used the images as source material for their own work.'

L'Éclipse, avril 1912 (April 17, 1912) by Eugène AtgetGeorge Eastman Museum

'He sold his images to painters as "studies." Atget's photographs went more or less unnoticed during his lifetime, and it was only after his death that Berenice Abbott, a friend and champion of his work, acquired his archive and began making prints from his negatives.'

[Sapin, Trianon (Pine Tree Trunks at the Trianon)] (1910–1915) by Eugène AtgetThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'Eugène Atget may have created this image out of an interest in the sources of Art Nouveau, or he may have hoped that an artist-client would purchase it as source material for his or her own work in that style.'

Châtaigniers (1919) by Eugène AtgetFundacion MAPFRE

'Berenice Abbott collection stamp verso Landscape-Documents Series, Atget no.'

Cour de Rohan (1922) by Eugène AtgetThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'To Atget, it was important not to record popular destinations and fashionable districts but to create "artistic documents ...'

Roses (1922–1923) by Eugène AtgetThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'In order to make the "documents for artists" that the sign outside his door advertised, Atget had to consider what types of photographs would be useful to artists as source material.'

Image missing

'They appear aloof, indifferent both to Eugène Atget, who photographs them, and to the mysterious voyeur whose legs, reflected in the glass, are visible just above the "250¿" sign.'

Fête Vaugirard (Street Fair and Kiosk) (1925) by Eugène AtgetThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'Although the fairgoers and sideshow attendants had dispersed by the time Atget made this photograph, litter on the pavement attests to their earlier presence. Atget intended his photographs to be used as source material for artists, such as the noteworthy painter Maurice Utrillo, who modeled a 1927 painting on this image.'

Hôtel Scipion Sardini, R[ue] Scipion (March 1925) by Eugène AtgetThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'Atget intended his photographs to be used as source material for artists, such as the noteworthy painter Maurice Utrillo, who favored orderly architectural subjects.'

[Saint-Cloud, France] (negative 1926; print later) by Eugène Atget and Berenice AbbottThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'Atget's asymmetrical composition is radical for its elegant simplicity--an effect somewhat heightened by the print's high-contrast tones. Berenice Abbott, a young American photographer who befriended Atget and purchased many of his prints and negatives after his death, made this print some fifteen years later.'

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