Artist: Eugène Atget (French, Libourne 1857–1927 Paris)
Medium: Matte albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions: 17.6 × 22.7 cm (6 15/16 × 8 15/16 in.)
Sheet: 17.9 × 22.8 cm (17.9 × 22.8 cm)
Credit Line: Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005
Accession Number: 2005.100.133
Atget's interest in the texture of old Paris-in the animate, intimate air of places much lived in-ran counter to the prevailing popular taste for the Eiffel Tower, the Opéra, and other famous monuments and promenades. Characteristically, he never photographed the Champs-Élysées, though he did make one exposure on the avenue that extends it beyond the Arc de Triomphe, the Avenue de la Grande-Armée. Here, selecting an empty café bathed in early morning light and poised in readiness for the day's clientele, he managed to suggest the habits of the habitués, in absentia.