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Creator Name: Atget, Eugène
Creator Nationality: French
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1857 - 1927
Biography: Eugène Atget French, 1857-1927Relatively unknown to the public during his lifetime, Eugène Atget is today an icon -- one of the most celebrated and influential photographers of the 20th century. Born near Bordeaux, Atget first directed his efforts to painting and the stage before turning to photography shortly before 1890. He is best known for his documentary scenes of Paris and Versailles, but he photographed a number of other sites as well. Atget viewed his work as a historical and aesthetic record, regarding it as documentation for use by artists. Indeed, several artists are known to have painted from his images. Using relatively unsophisticated, even outdated equipment, Atget achieved a view of French architecture and culture that is both personal and factual. Along with the rediscovery of the images of Mathew Brady in the early 20th century, the recognition of Atget's artistic accomplishments shortly before his death by Berenice Abbott, Man Ray, and others helped turn photographers away from the mannered style of pictorialism toward the visual and technical clarity of modernism. Marked by a selective and highly individual method, his is among the most widely shown, published, and recognized work in photography today. T.W.F.
Creator Birth Place: Libourne, France
Creator Death Place: Paris, France
Creator Name-CRT: Eugène Atget
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1922
Creation End Date: 1923
Creation Date: 1922-1923
Object Type: Photographs
Classification Term: Photograph
Materials and Techniques: albumen print, gold-toned
Dimensions: Image: 22.2cm x 17.6cm
Inscriptions: written in pencil on verso: "Nymphea"; "MOMA/DUPE/2002"? "(initials)?"
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 2002.69
Credit Line: The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund
Style or Period: France, 20th century
Context: A prolific artist who enjoyed a three-decade career, Atget was one of the most important and original photographers active at the beginning of the 20th century. This sparkling landscape shows a mass of white water-lily blossoms (nymphéa in French) and remains among Atget's best compositions, created in the 1920s when he was at the height of his artistic prowess. The scene probably depicts Bagatelle Park at the edge of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. The photographer carefully focused on the floating plants and their sculptured flowers, detailing texture and shape. The early morning illumination created light and shadow patterns that enabled Atget to isolate flat, abstracted forms while simultaneously depicting a deep pictorial space. In this lush, purplish print, the lily pond shimmers with reflected shadows and brilliant highlights.
AMICA ID: CMA_.2002.69
AMICA Library Year: 2003
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