From 1898 until his death in 1927, Atget exhaustively documented the remains of Old Paris: the city’s streets, monuments, interiors, and environs. Among the last entries in this self-directed preservationist effort was a series of images of landscapes and sculpture in the parks of Saint-Cloud and Versailles. Here, the photographer records a statue of a sleeping Ariadne, the mythical Cretan princess abandoned by her lover Theseus on the island of Naxos. Atget’s simultaneously realistic and otherworldly photographs inspired the Surrealist artist Man Ray, who reproduced four of them in a 1926 issue of the journal La Révolution Surréaliste, thus presenting the elder photographer as a modernist forerunner.
Inscription: Inscribed in Atget's hand in pencil on print, verso TC and TR: "Versailles" and "6912"; numbered in the negative, TR: "6912" [in reverse]
Eugène Atget; [...]; [Mark Kelman, New York]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, March 14, 1989
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Times: Photography Between the Two World Wars," June 9, 1998–October 4, 1998.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Dream States: Contemporary Photographs and Video," May 16, 2016–October 30, 2016.