Eugene Atget

BIOGRAPHY

1856-1927

Eugène Atget was a French photographer noted for his photographs documenting the architecture and street scenes of Paris. Atget was orphaned as a boy and educated by an uncle. After finishing his education in the 1870s, Atget briefly traveled the world on transatlantic liners and flirted with a career in acting. However, he soon settled in Paris, where he sold photographs of street life and buildings to artists, architects and publishers as “documents” from which to work.  His bohemian sensibility and humanist interest in tradespeople, who have been left behind by modernization, endured.  Atget preferred a nostalgic and dreamlike vision, enhanced by repositioning the lens to create blurred figures, long exposures that resulted in wan light, and an emptiness ensured by photographing in the early morning before pedestrian traffic.