Amazing photos by Eugène Atget capture the vanished streets of Old Paris, 1900s

These photographs, taken by Eugne Atget, document all the architecture and street scenes of Paris before it disappeared for modernisation.

In the late 1880s Agate took up photography and supplied study for painters, architects and stage designers. In 1898 Atget began shooting Paris, using a large format visual camera to capture the city in detail.

His photographs, many of which were taken at dawn, are notable for their diffused light and sweeping views that give a sense of space and surroundings.

The city's urban landscape was recently reshaped by a modernization campaign known as Haussmannization – a necessary destructive process led by (and named after) Baron Georges-Eugne Haussmann, which led to the destruction of Paris. The medieval neighborhood was razed and turned into wide avenues and public parks.

Those changes, in turn, led to widespread interest in the capital, Vieux Paris ("Old Paris") in the pre-revolutionary form of the 18th century.

Agate's feeling for Vieques Paris had been an integral part of his practice of documenting for other artists, but around 1900 that interest took center stage, as he established himself as an expert in the photographs of Paris. installed.

Indeed, his calling card of the period read, "E. Agate, creator and purveyor of the 'Collection of Photographic Scenes of Old Paris'."

After taking a picture, Atgate would develop, wash and cure 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 reverse of the negative and scratch it. Will also do in emulsion.

He pre-printed his negative contacts on pre-sensitized, commercially available printing-out paper; Albumen paper, gelatin-silver printing-out paper, or two types of matte albumen paper they mainly used after WW1.

The negative was clamped under glass in a printing frame and against a sheet of albumen photographic printing out paper, which was left in the sun to expose.

The frame allowed inspection of the print until a satisfactory exposure was achieved, then Agate washed, corrected, and toned his print with gold toner, as was standard practice when taking photography.

Atgate didn't use a larger size, and all of their prints are the same size as their negatives. The prints would be numbered and labeled in pencil on their backs and then inserted by the corners into four slits in each page of the album.

Additional albums were assembled based on a specific theme that might be of interest to their clients, and separated by series or chronology.

During World War I, Atgate temporarily stored his archives in his basement for safekeeping and abandoned photography almost entirely. Valentine's son Leon was killed at the front.

By 1920-21, he had sold thousands of his negative institutions. Financially independent, he photographed the parks of Versailles, Saint-Cloud, and Scox and produced a series of photographs of prostitutes.

Berenice Abbott, working with Man Ray, went to Atgate in 1925, bought some of his photographs, and tried to get other artists interested in his work.

He continued to promote Atgate through various articles, exhibitions and books, and in 1968 sold his Agate collection to the Museum of Modern Art.

In 1926, Atgate's partner Valentin died, and in 1927 Abbott showed him "slightly tinged ... tired, sad, distant, charming", before seeing the full-face and profile pictures he had taken Atgate died on 4 August 1927. Paris.

Agate's documentary vision proved highly influential, first in the 1920s, on the Surrealists, who found his photographs of deserted streets and staircases, street life, and shop windows to be confusing and largely suggestive (see La Révolution in 1926). Surrealist, with a fourth , the crowd gathered to watch the eclipse on the cover); And then on two generations of American photographers, from Walker Evans to Lee Friedlander.

His reception outside France was also shaped by the Museum of Modern Art. In 1968 the museum purchased the contents of her studio from American photographer Berenice Abbott, who was first introduced to Atgate's work in 1925, when she was working as a studio assistant for Man Ray.

Abbott became Agate's posthumous champion, initiating the preservation of his collection and its transfer to New York. Comprising some 5,000 vintage prints and over 1,000 glass plate negatives, it represents the largest and most significant collection of his work.

In 1931, four years after Atgate's death, American photographer Ansel Adams wrote, "Atgate prints are direct and emotionally clean records of a rare and subtle notion, and represent perhaps the earliest expression of true photographic art. "

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