In 1921, Atget was asked by the illustrator André Dignimont to photograph brothels for a book he planned to publish (but never did) called "La Femme criminelle." Initially, Atget photographed the facades of the houses with the prostitutes standing or seated before them. After additional prodding by Dignimont, he also made several pictures of the undressed women inside. It would be hard to imagine that the voluptuous forms in those images could be the women in the calico frocks shown here were it not for their attitude of frank, slightly bemused complicity. Atget enhanced the sense of companionable relationship between them by repeating the compressed triad of their stance in the compositional structure of his picture.