Image: 21.8 x 17.6 cm (8 9/16 x 6 15/16 in.); Paper: 21.8 x 18 cm (8 9/16 x 7 1/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2007.26
Atget produced architectural details, views of historic Paris, landscapes, and botanical images for use by painters and illustrators. Despite being a product of the 19th century, he was greatly admired by the avant-garde photographers of the 1920s. Modernists esteemed the straightforwardness of his photographs, while the Surrealists found inspiration in their evocative power. An artist or illustrator using this image of a common plant used in herbal remedies would have ignored the landscape background. But the Surrealists would have appreciated the unexpected, unintended surrealism of its odd juxtaposition of sheet, plant, and landscape.
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