Le Petit marchand d’herbes Atget, Eugéne  (French, 1857-1927)

Photographer Eugéne Atget sought to capture the romantic and diappearing daily life of Paris and to record certain elements of the scenery that were overlooked by other photographers of the period because they were too familiar: a sign, a path, a door, a street, a tree. Included among Atget’s subjects were tradespeople plying their wares. In them, Atget presents the market stands, the odd jobs, the cobbled-together shops, and the informal entertainments that gave Paris its vibrancy and soul. This near-documentary approach retains a measure of poetry and mystery; it is quintessentially a photographic style, creating images that reveal much about the past, but that are also moving and expressive, and at times so strange that they attracted the interest of the surrealists.

Appropriate or not, this posthumous print is a rare example of Atget’s work translated into the photogravure syntax.

Reproduced / Exhibited

Weiss Benjamin and Atget Eugène. Atget : Postcards of a Lost Paris : Selections from the Leonard a. Lauder Postcard Archive. First ed. MFA Publications Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Marbot, Bernard. After Daguerre: Masterworks of French Photography (1848-1900) from the Bibliothèque Nationale. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, in association with Berger-Levrault, Paris, 1980. (no. 4)