Eugene Atget (1857 - 1927) (More of his work here)

Another great photographer, Ansel Adams (1902-84), writing in 1931, said: “The charm of Atget lies not in the mastery of the plates and papers of his time, nor in the quaintness of costume, architecture and humanity as revealed in his pictures, but in his equitable and intimate point of view… The Atget prints are direct and emotionally clean records of a rare and subtle perception, and represent perhaps the earliest expression of true photographic art.”

Eugene Atget (1857 - 1927) (more of his work here) was one of the first photographers who documented the streets of Paris. Atget arrived in the city from Bordeaux in 1896 at the age of 40. Two years later he decided to devote himself to photography. His writings on the subject indicate that right from the start he wanted to collect images of everything he thought “artistic or picturesque in and around Paris.” Atget’s work is unique on two levels. He was the maker of a great visual catalogue of the fruits of French culture, as it survived in and near Paris in the first quarter of this century. He was in addition a photographer of such authority and originality that his work remains a bench mark against which much of the most sophisticated contemporary photography measures itself.

The pictures that he made in the service of this concept are seductively and deceptively simple, wholly poised, reticent, dense with experience, mysterious, and true.