Old Paris Series (1900s) - Eugène Atget
|Title||Old Paris Series|
|Size||24 x 20cm|
|Medium||Gelatin silver print|
*Very rare and unique vintage pictures by the world famous photographer, Eugène Atget.
*More pictures available for this series, please contact us for details.
*Eugène Atget (French: 12 February 1857 – 4 August 1927) was a French flâneur and a pioneer of documentary photography, noted for his determination to document all of the architecture and street scenes of Paris before their disappearance to modernization. Most of his photographs were first published by Berenice Abbott after his death. Though he sold his work to artists and craftspeople and became an inspiration for the surrealists, he did not live to see the wide acclaim his work would eventually receive.
Atget took up photography in the late 1880s, around the time that photography was experiencing unprecedented expansion in both commercial and amateur fields. Atget photographed Paris with a large-format wooden bellows camera with a rapid rectilinear lens, an instrument that was fairly current when he took it up, but which he continued to use even when hand-held and more efficient large-format cameras became available.
The optical vignetting often seen at some corners of his photographs is due to his having repositioned the lens relative to the plate on the camera—exploiting one of the features of bellows view cameras as a way to correct perspective and control perspective and keep vertical forms straight. The negatives show four small clear rebates (printing black) where clips held the glass in the plate-holder during exposure.
The glass plates were 180×240mm Bande Bleue (Blue Ribbon) brand with a general-purpose gelatin-silver emulsion, fairly slow, that necessitated quite long exposures, resulting in the blurring of moving subjects seen in some of his pictures. Interest in Atget‟s work has prompted the recent scientific analysis of Atget's negatives and prints in Parisian collections and in the Philadelphia Museum of Art In Intérieurs Parisiens, a series of photographs he took for the Bibliotéque Nationale, he included a view of his own simple darkroom with trays for processing negatives and prints, a safelight, and printing frames.
After taking a photograph, Atget would develop, wash, and fix his negative, then assign the negative to one of his filing categories with the next consecutive number that he would write the negative number in graphite on the verso of the negative and also scratch it into the emulsion. He contact-printed his negatives onto pre-sensitized, commercially available printing-out papers; albumen paper, gelatin-silver printing-out paper, or two types of matte albumen paper that he used mainly after WW1.
The negative was clamped into a printing frame under glass and against a sheet of albumen photographic printing out paper, which was left out in the sun to expose. The frame permitted inspection of the print until a satisfactory exposure was achieved, then Atget washed, fixed and toned his print with gold toner, as was the standard practice when he took up photography.
Atget did not use an enlarger, and all of his prints are the same size as their negatives. Prints would be numbered and labelled on their backs in pencil then inserted by the corners into four slits cut in each page of albums. Additional albums were assembled based on specific themes that might be of interest to his clients, and separate from series or chronology.
*Photo Auction's Gelatin Silver Print is the high-quality photographic process used with currently available black-and-white films and printing papers. A suspension of silver salts in gelatin is smeared onto a supporting foundation of glass, flexible plastic or film, baryta paper, or resin-coated paper.
*Frames are available in all different styles and sizes, and it can be ordered as an extra cost. Feel free to contact us to learn more about frames and display methods. We are happy to provide 'a customised service' to advise you on the most suitable frame for the picture you are interested in. A picture/drawing can have a very different look according to the different sizes, materials, designs and styles of frames chosen to display it with, as they can change the atmosphere of the whole space in which the picture or drawing is displayed. Our mission is to help our customers achieve the best style for the piece of art, with our professional touch.