Paris 1910-1914 by Eugene Atget

In his fifties, photographer Eugene Atget stopped eating anything apart from bread, milk, and sugar. Here is a selection of photographs documenting old Paris during that period of his life, taken between 1910 and 1914:


Thanks to John Pollock and George Eastman House.

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3 comments to Paris 1910-1914 by Eugene Atget

  • beckybim

    How clever Atget was. He (predominantly) took pictures without people in them, yet still captured the very essence of this time.

  • Jimmy A

    Fascinating photos and I agree with the previous comment about capturing the essence of the time. What is this “essence” though if we had to describe it? Two things stand out for me: (1) the lack of uniformity in the street scenes and within the individual shops. It gives a clear sense of how irrevocably the tangible, everyday world was altered by mass production and in particular moulded plastic. Everyday life would have been characterised by greater solidity (wood, metal, handmade goods) but also greater variety, randomness even; (2) the lack of a “safety net” - there is a palpable contrast with those scenes and our world which is so heavily constrained by what is safe - street furniture, barriers, signage, public cleanliness.

  • Chris

    This is a brilliant comment, Jimmy. Both things work for me as a lack of mediation - direct experience of materials, and of the material world.

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