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Eugène Atget; Berenice Abbott

Artwork Details

Eugène Atget; Berenice Abbott
gold-toned gelatin silver print on paper
10 in x 13 in (25.4 cm x 33.02 cm);19 5/16 in x 14 5/16 in (49.05 cm x 36.35 cm);13 in x 10 in (33.02 cm x 25.4 cm);6 13/16 in x 8 1/8 in (17.3 cm x 20.64 cm)
Museum Purchase


Subject Matter:

One of Atget's most iconic images, thanks to fellow photographer Man Ray who put it on the cover of "La Revolution Surrealiste," this scene depicts a crowd of Parisians at the Place de la Bastille watching a solar eclipse through pinhole viewers. Man Ray was likely attracted to the ambiguities of the scene: a crowd of pedestrians witnessing an event the viewer cannot see, using a device that, counterintuitively, seems to block their vision. Like many of Atget's photographs of Paris, this subject hovers between the documentary and the interpretive, with a disquieting twist that appealed to the Surrealists and to fellow photographer Berenice Abbott, who chose this print as one of twenty images for a portfolio that she believed best encapsulated Atget's oeuvre.  

Physical Description:

Crowd of people on a city street looking up at the sky.

Usage Rights:

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