Friday, April 9, 2010

Eugène Atget's Paris on SepiaTown

Eugène Atget, the great turn-of-the-century chronicler of Paris, is widely considered to be the first true modern photographer.

In 1898, at the advanced age of 41 (and with no former experience in the visual arts) he took up photography as a way to eke out a living by creating and selling straightforward depictions of city scenes and architecture for artists to use for reference. By the time he died in 1927, Atget had created over 10,000 images of the city and its inhabitants. 

Atget's work was discovered and heralded by later generations of artists, who recognized that his photographs were much more than simple “documents for artists” (which is how Atget regarded and described them throughout his life). 

We've uploaded to SepiaTown a small handful of Atget's photographs that the George Eastman house was good enough to share with the public via Flickr Commons. There's much more material where these came from, and we hope that many more of Atget's poetic images of old Paris will be brought to life in a new way as they are uploaded to SepiaTown.

Here's a sampling of Eugène Atget images on SepiaTown...
(click on image to go to its page on the site)

We're really excited about this then/now view because it is the first evidence we've seen of the Google Street View Tricycles handiwork.  In the coming months and years these tricycles will provide Google Street Views for new kinds of locations and the then/now view on SepiaTown will get more and more ubiquitous as a result.