Eugène Atget

French Photographer | Born: 1857 - Died: 1927

Jean-Eugène-Auguste Atget was born 12 February 1857 in Libourne. His father, carriage builder Jean-Eugène Atget, died in 1862, and his mother, Clara-Adeline Atget née Hourlier died shortly after. He was brought up by his maternal grandparents in Bordeaux and after finishing secondary education joined the merchant navy.

Atget moved to Paris in 1878. He failed the entrance exam for acting class but was admitted when he had a second try. Because he was drafted for military service he could attend class only part-time, and he was expelled from drama school. Still living in Paris he became an actor with a travelling group, performing in the Paris suburbs and the provinces. He met actress Valentine Delafosse Compagnon, who became his companion until her death. He gave up acting because of an infection of his vocal chords in 1887, moved to the provinces and took up painting without success. His first photographs, of Amiens and Beauvais, date from 1888.

1890 Atget moved back to Paris and became a professional photographer, supplying documents for artists: studies for painters, architects and stage-designers. Starting 1898 institutions such as the Musée Carnavalet and the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris bought his photographs. The latter commissioned him ca. 1906 to systematically photograph old buildings in Paris. 1899 he moved to Montparnasse.

While being a photographer Atget still also called himself an actor, giving lectures and readings. During World War I Eugène Atget temporarily stored his archives in his basement for safekeeping and almost completely gave up photography. Valentine's son Léon was killed at the front.

1920-1921 he sold thousands of his negatives to institutions. Financially independent he took up photographing the parks of Versailles, Saint-Cloud and Sceaux and produced a series of photographs of prostitutes. Berenice Abbott visited Atget in 1925, bought some of his photographs, and tried to interest other artists in his work.

1926 Valentine died and Man Ray published several of Atget's photographs in la Révolution surréaliste. Abbott took Atget's portrait in 1927. Eugène Atget died 4 August 1927 in Paris.

Source: Wikipedia


Eugène Atget (1857–1927) turned to photography in his late 40s, building a body of work that described the city of Paris and its environs. In its simplicity and clarity of vision, this project, resulting in over 10,000 photographs, became a modern urban portrait that has influenced many photographers since. Inspired to make a portrait of Paris at the moment when historic Paris was becoming Haussman’s modern Paris, Atget captured the changing city with eloquence and sensitivity.

Atget received little recognition before his death in 1927, but due to the posthumous efforts of photographer Berenice Abbott, his work was preserved, promoted, and gained its rightful place in history. A significant number of his prints, including many negatives, are held by the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., along with the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Source: Fraenkel Gallery



Photos © Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Eugène Atget
Piercing Time: Paris after Marville and Atget 1865-2012
Author: Peter Sramek
Publisher: Intellect Ltd
Year: 2013 - Pages: 456
Piercing Time examines the role of photography in documenting urban change by juxtaposing contemporary “rephotographs” taken by the author with images of nineteenth century Paris taken by Charles Marville, who worked under Georges Haussmann, and corresponding photographs by Eugène Atget taken in the early twentieth century.
 
Atget
Author: John Szarkowski
Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art
Year: 2012 - Pages: 224
Eugène Atget (1857-1927) devoted more than 30 years of his life to a rigorous documentation of Paris, its environs and the French countryside, through more than 8,000 photographs. Atget died almost unknown in 1927, although groups of his prints were included in various Paris archives. In 1925 Berenice Abbott discovered his work, and after his death she arranged to buy his archives with the help of art dealer Julien Levy; in 1968 that collection was purchased by The Museum of Modern Art. Originally published in 2000 and long unavailable, this classic, superbly produced volume surveys the collection through 100 carefully selected photographs. John Szarkowski, head of MoMA's Department of Photography from 1962 to 1991, explores the unique sensibilities that made Atget one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century and a vital influence on the development of modern and contemporary photography. An introductory text and commentaries on Atget's photographs form an extended essay on the remarkable visual intelligence displayed in these subtle, sometimes enigmatic photographs.
 
Paris
Author: Eugene Atget, Hans Christian Adam
Publisher: Taschen
Year: 2008 - Pages: 252
Eugène Atget roamed the streets with his bulky large format camera, systematically cataloguing turn-of-the-century Old Paris down to the very smallest details. His skilled, wonderfully atmospheric photos of Paris' parks, buildings, streets, store windows, prostitutes, workers, and even door handles are a joy to behold.
 
Street Photography: From Atget to Cartier-Bresson
Author: Clive Scott
Publisher: I. B. Tauris
Year: 2007 - Pages: 256
Street photography is perhaps the best-loved and most widely known of all photographic genres, with names like Cartier-Bresson, Brassai and Doisneau familiar even to those with a fleeting knowledge of the medium. Yet what exactly is street photography? From what viewpoint does it present its subjects, and how does this viewpoint differ from that of documentary photography? Looking closely at the work Atget, Kertesz, Bovis, Rene-Jacques, Brassai, Doisneau, Cartier- Bresson and more, this elegantly written book unpicks Parisian street photography's complex relationship with parallel literary trends -- from Baudelaire to Soupault -- as well as its more evident affinity with Impressionist art. Street Photography reveals the genre to be poetic, even "picturesque," looking not to the type but to the individual, not to the reality of the street but to its "romance."
 
Paris Changing: Revisiting Eugène Atget
Author: Eugène Atget
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Year: 2007 - Pages: 192
Between 1888 and 1927 Eugène Atget meticulously photographed Paris and its environments, capturing in thousands of photographs the city’s parks, streets, and buildings as well as its diverse inhabitants. Christopher Rauschenberg spent a year in the late 90s revisiting and re-photographing many of Atget’s locations. Paris Changing features seventy-four pairs of images beautifully reproduced in duotone. Each site is indicated on a map of the city, inviting readers to follow in the steps of Atget and Rauschenberg themselves. The book concludes with essays by Clark Worswick and Alison Nordstrom, an epilogue by Rosamond Bernier as well as a portfolio of other images of contemporary Paris by Rauschenberg.
 
David Bailey: SUMO
 
 

More Great Photographers To Discover

Ken Hermann
Nationality: Danish
Based in Copenhagen, Ken Hermann possesses a natural urge to explore photography and world alike. He has traveled extensively, from secluded regions of India and Ethiopia to modern metropolises like New York. From every location, no matter how small or large, Hermann draws energy and inspiration; exploration of people, culture, and life is a central facet to his work, which is full of texture, volume, and atmosphere. From these experiences, he applies a cosmpolitan aesthetic (…)
Ken Hermann
Ken Hermann
Ken Hermann
Ken Hermann
Ken Hermann
Ken Hermann
Ken Hermann
Ken Hermann
 
Cathleen Naundorf
Nationality: French/German
Cathleen Naundorf is a French German photographer. In the late 1980s, she graduated from photography studies in Munich. She worked as a photo assistant in New York, Singapore and Paris in the following years, before she started traveling in 1993 to such destinations as Mongolia, Siberia, Gobi Desert and the Amazonas headwaters in Brazil. The results of these insightful pictures have been included in eight publications of renowned publishing houses. Inspired by her encounter (…)
Cathleen Naundorf
Cathleen Naundorf
Cathleen Naundorf
Cathleen Naundorf
Cathleen Naundorf
Cathleen Naundorf
Cathleen Naundorf
Cathleen Naundorf
 
Antonio Palmerini
Nationality: Italian

From wanderingstorytellers.blogspot.com
Palmerini shows us split personalities, melancholia, bi-polar disorder, depression, paranoia, and sociopathy, all through double exposures, long exposures, and high contrast development. At least that's what I see... stories of ghosts and tormented wanderers. What do you see?
 
Laurent Kronental
Nationality: French
Born: 1987
Self-taught photographer, he discovers photography in China during a stay of several months in Beijing. He is captivated by the big metropolises there and by the variety of their architectures, their inhabitants, the way they tame the space and their personal stories. He has developed during 4 years an artistic series, Souvenir d'un Futur, on the elderly living in the large estates of the Paris region. The photographer intends to question us on the condition of (…)
Laurent Kronental
Laurent Kronental
Laurent Kronental
Laurent Kronental
Laurent Kronental
Laurent Kronental
Laurent Kronental
Laurent Kronental
 
Platon (Antoniou)
Nationality: British
Born: 1968

Born in London in 1968, Platon was raised in the Greek Isles until his family returned to England in the 1970's. He attended St. Martin's School of Art and after receiving his BA with honors in Graphic Design, went on to receive an MA in Photography and Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. After working for British Vogue for several years, he was invited to NY to work for the late John Kennedy Jr. and his political magazine, 'George'. After shooting portraits for a range (…)

Platon (Antoniou)
Platon (Antoniou)
Platon (Antoniou)
Platon (Antoniou)
Platon (Antoniou)
Platon (Antoniou)
Platon (Antoniou)
Platon (Antoniou)
 
France Leclerc
Nationality: Canadian
France Leclerc, born in Quebec, Canada, is an independent photographer who currently lives in Chicago. Her early career was in academia, teaching at MIT and the University of Chicago, but her true passion for documentary photography has now taken over. The curiosity and hunger for learning that had motivated her academic research career did not vanish. France now uses photography as a vehicle to understand and help depict issues that puzzle her, and satisfy her passion for (…)
France Leclerc
France Leclerc
France Leclerc
France Leclerc
France Leclerc
France Leclerc
France Leclerc
France Leclerc
 
Alexey Titarenko
Nationality: Russian/American
Born: 1962

Alexey Titarenko is a Russian American artist. He began taking photographs at the beginning of the 1970s, and in 1978 became a member of the well-known Leningrad photographic club Zerkalo, where he had his first solo exhibition (1978). Titarenko graduated from the Department of Cinematic and Photographic Art at Leningrad's Institute of Culture in 1983.

Since this was creative activity that had no connection with the official Soviet propaganda, the opportunity (…)
 
Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist
Nationality: American
Born: 1987

Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist (b. 1987) graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Natural Resource Planning and minor studies in Community and International Development. Ian worked for a variety of non-profits before pursuing photography full-time. Since 2009 Ian has been a constant contributor to the Burlington Free Press, Vermont's largest daily newspaper. Ian has also worked for the Boston Globe, BUST Magazine, Vermont AP, Vermont Life, Vermont Quarterly (…)
 
Lise Sarfati
Nationality: French
Born: 1958

Lise Sarfati has lived and worked in the United States since 2003. She has realized six important series of photographs there. They have been followed by exhibitions and publications. Each of her works makes clear the identity of an approach focused on the intensity of the rapport established with the person photographed, and of that person with the context. A vision in which the individual is environment, a map outlining a perilous cultural geography. The richness of (…)
 
Kim Kyung Soo
Nationality: Korean
Born: 1975
Born in Seoul, Korea in 1975
2002 Bachelor Degree in photography, Sangmyung University, Seoul, Korea
Lives and Works in Seoul, Korea

From www.galerieparisbeijing.com
When Vogue Korea asked Kim Kyoungsoo, a renowned fashion photographer to realize a series of fashion portraits that would (re-actualize) the traditionnal Korean costum ((…)
Kim Kyung Soo
Kim Kyung Soo
Kim Kyung Soo
Kim Kyung Soo
Kim Kyung Soo
Kim Kyung Soo
Kim Kyung Soo
Kim Kyung Soo
 
David Bailey: SUMO
 
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
NEW! All About Photo Awards 2019 Magazine
All About Photo Awards 2019
 
 
 
The Jules Maeght Gallery is a contemporary art gallery who seeks to engage the San Francisco community by infusing European artists, young and established alike, into a diverse, multimedia dialogue.
 
TAKES U TO THE NEXT LEVEL
 
Since 2005, your guide through contemporary art from a French perspective to let you make exciting choices