Let’s get to know the capital of Seine in the early twentieth century by taking a look at some photos of the streets and the daily life in the city. We’ll see the city through the eyes of Eugene Atget, a genius in photography.
Jean Eugène Auguste Atget (1857-1927) was a French photographer who is considered as one of the masters of French photography. After working in various jobs such as a waiter and an actor in the provinces, he settled in Paris, where he became a photographer. To survive, he dedicated himself to taking pictures of people on the street. He took pictures of monuments, parks, vendors, and windows. Some have recurring themes and the collection reached more than 4000 images. After his death, the American photographer Berenice Abbott, Man Ray’s assistant, took his negatives.
His photographs have great power of suggestion which reflect the Parisian daily life in a spontaneous manner: free from the bonds of other artistic movements. His images depict something surreal and natural — a vision that suggests something ghostly. Despite his rising popularity, he died in misery.
In the United States, he is considered as a master of photography. France rediscovered his works in the 1980’s. The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris) offered a retrospective of Atget from March 27, 2007 until July 1, 2007.
Information for this article sourced from George Eastman House