As part of the strong preservationist movement of the 1890s and early 1900s, Atget made thousands of views of old Paris, many prints of which he sold to libraries, museums, and archives. About 1904 he began photographing the interiors of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century hôtels, or town houses. The Hôtel Lauzun belonged to the city, making it more accessible to Atget than most privately owned residences. The glare of the sun in the immense mirror above the fireplace obscures details of the richly carved mantelpiece and woodwork. While this effect makes the photograph far from an ideal document, the refracted reflection renders this otherwise straightforward view poetic and infuses it with a sense of immanence.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on verso at L, BL, R: "Hotel de Lauzun 4980"; "EA 9076 - 7"; "Box 20"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 10," August 28, 1995–November 13, 1995.