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Atget: Paris Hardcover – August 1, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"All I can say: get collecting. These books are an incredible value." - Image, London, on the photography book series"

About the Author

Andreas Krase lives in Berlin and Dresden, where he is keeper of Photography and Cinematography at the Museum of Technology and Industry. He has published numerous articles and catalogues on photo-related topics.

Hans Christian Adam studied psychology, art history and communication in Göttingen and Vienna. As a specialist in historical images, he has published numerous articles and books, including titles on travel and war photography. He is the author of TASCHEN’s Edward Sheriff Curtis: The North American Indian, Karl Blossfeldt, Eugène Atget: Paris and Berlin, Portrait of a City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen; 25th edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3836504715
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836504713
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1 x 11.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 11, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the more unusual books on my shelves, in that physically it is designed to bear a resemblence on its exterior to some travel guides. The photograph above doesn't do it justice. The material is kivar-like, and his famous photograph of the entrance to the Moulin Rouge is tinted in red and yellow. Inside, the photographs are arranged thematically, according such topics as Salesman and Traders on the Streets of Paris, or Trades, Shops, and Window Displays, or interiors of Parisian homes, or, my favorite, Old Paris.
As the introduction of the book points out, Atget was the great photographic recorder of Old Paris. It is to Paris of the turn of the 19th to the 20th century what Weegee was to lower Manhattan. The pictures in this book are nothing short of remarkable, and to look at them for any length of time helps transport one, to the extent that that is possible, to a world that no longer exists. This is not beautiful, genteel Paris. It isn't the Paris of Proust. It is more the Paris of Baudelaire fifty years down the road, the Paris of Toulouse-Latrec.
This without any question the finest inexpensive edition of Atget's photographs currently available, and since Atget is the predominant photographer of the Paris of a hundred years ago, the best inexpensive book of photographs of Old Paris.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful collection of work by Atget. One, at least I, tend to forget just how influential Atget was in bridging documentary photography to art. One star off because I wish the book had larger dimensions and better print quality, not that the quality is bad. This is an excellent value for a budget book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Score another beautifully done coffee table book of photography to Taschen's publishing reputation. Atget was not only one of the pioneers of street photography he may have been the first full-time practitioner of that art? If not the first, he was certainly one of the best and he devoted his entire life to that career. It was amazing he could make a living at it, but then again he had given up both his acting and painting careers, so it may have seemed more lucrative than either of those professions.
"Born in 1857 the son of a Libourne carriage-builder, he lived for over three decades in the great metropolis of Paris, where he constantly explored the city's historic streets and squares, made contact with numerous potential buyers, and gave evening lectures in adult education centers." His original plan was to sell individual photographs of scenes and nudes to artists in order to save them the costs of traveling to the location or paying for models. He had a great many commissions and contracts to document the historic architecture of "Old Paris." His normal shooting gear included 20 kilos of equipment including a heavy-duty tripod, wooden camera and a supply of 18 X 24 cm glass negatives. He spent his entire adult life dragging this heavy burden around all of Paris and its suburbs. It was amazing he had any energy left to take his photos.
"From 1902, onwards, his visiting cards and letterheads proudly read `E. Atget, Author and Publisher of a Photographic Collection of Old Paris.'" By this time he had become a successful and much in demand photographer.
Around 1909 the Paris photographer grew tired of working on a commission basis and started publishing his work in the form of albums of prints and post cards.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful large hardcover edition in French, English and German. Quality paper and excellent printing. A real time machine looking into the late 1880s and early 1900s before Paris was forever changed with the massive renovation of the city in the years following. Loving care was given to the photographer and the city. A real treasure and a tremendous value at this price. Don't miss this one!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A nice collection of Eugene Atget's photos of Paris and its environs. Grouped geographically and topically. There is also some solid information about Atget and his importance. The reproductions are decent but perhaps a bit soft compared to actual prints which to me seem to have more contrast and depth. Terrific book for the price
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Atget began photographing Paris forb the pedestrian motive of selling the photos to "real" artists to use as guides to painting backgrounds without leaving their studio. It was a business. With time it became more than a business. Atget developed an aesthetic style of urban photography that remains a major influence on today' photographers. Along the way he document a time, a place, a world that no longer exists.
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Format: Paperback
Taschen publishes wonderful affordable books of art, photography, and cultural ephemera. I have five or six. ATGET'S PARIS may be my favorite. It contains about 160 of Eugène Atget's marvelous photographs of the Paris of yesteryear -- more precisely, 1897 to 1927.

The book contains a brief essay (in three languages, including English) by Andreas Krase, who writes: "Eugene Atget is THE photographer of Old Paris. * * * [T]oday Atget is regarded as one of the most important photographers in the history of the art. His work is regarded as the bridge between 19th century topographic photography and the so-called art documentary of the 20th century. Over and beyond their subject matter, his pictures can be seen as evidence of a passion, an uncompromising vision that took little account of technical perfection, but rather was entirely given over to creating a perception of pictorial space."

The epithet "a Balzac of the camera" is from Berenice Abbott, who did much to preserve Atget's work and make it known among the cognoscenti of photography. It is an apt phrase. Because Atget documented the reality of Paris in the early years of the twentieth century -- its graceful beauty, its gritty fustiness, its extravagance, its silliness, its bourgeois pretentiousness, and its wretched poverty. Anyone who wants to have a better feel for what fin-de-siècle Paris was like, or any fan of French literature of the period, would no doubt profit from leafing through ATGET'S PARIS.

There are numerous street scenes and some interiors, storefront window displays, and gardens and fountains. And there are Parisians -- but not the glamorous, well-heeled ones.
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