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Eugène Atget


1857 - 1957 Libourne, France

"Born in Libourne, near Bordeaux, in 1857, at forty after he quit acting witn no more than minor success and after a tentative experiment with painting became a photographer.

He was the maker of a great visual catalogue of the fruits of French culture, as it survived in and near Paris in the first quarter of this century. He was in addition a photographer of such authority and originality that his work remains a bench mark against which much of the most sophisticated contemporary photography measures itself."  - Compiled from Atget photography website.

Atget often focused on fantastic architectural details from 17th- and 18th-century structures, amassing a catalogue of creatures—gorgons, gargoyles, dragons, and sea monsters—that add a surreal dimension to his documentation of Old Paris. - National Gallery of Art,Washington

Eugène Atget was a French flâneur and a pioneer of documentary photography, noted for his determination to document all of the architecture and street scenes of Paris before their disappearance to modernization. Most of his photographs were first published by Berenice Abbott after his death.[2] An inspiration for the surrealists and other artists, his genius was only recognized by a handful of young artists in the last two years of his life, and he did not live to see the wide acclaim his work would eventually receive.

Original article
Projects / Essays
Eugène Atget: Paris 1898-1924
Atget the Pioneer
Paris Changing: Revisiting Eugene Atget's Paris