Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)
albumen print, gold toned, Image: 18.10 x 22.60 cm (7 1/8 x 8 7/8 inches); Matted: 35.56 x 45.72 cm (14 x 18 inches). John L. Severance Fund 1985.113
During the first quarter of the 20th century, Eugène Atget photographed the French urban experience. Periodically, from 1901-1926, Atget was particularly attracted to the grounds and gardens at the palace of Versailles, photographing its walks, fountains, and statues during different seasons. An eerie silence and mysteriousness frequently suffuses his images, as it does in this haunting photograph of Antoine Coysevox's bronze sculpture of Venus, positioned on a raised plinth facing the palace's garden facade.
With the placement of his camera, Atget brought a carefully ordered harmony to the composition
through the alignment of various architectural and sculptural elements.