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Eclipse

Accession Number
1974/1.108

Title
Eclipse

Artist(s)
Eugène Atget

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1911

Medium & Support
gold-toned gelatin silver print on paper

Dimensions
10 in x 13 in (25.4 cm x 33.02 cm);19 5/16 in x 14 5/16 in (49.05 cm x 36.35 cm);13 in x 10 in (33.02 cm x 25.4 cm);6 13/16 in x 8 1/8 in (17.3 cm x 20.64 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Subject matter
One of Atget's most iconic images, thanks to fellow photographer Man Ray who put it on the cover of "La Revolution Surrealiste," this scene depicts a crowd of Parisians at the Place de la Bastille watching a solar eclipse through pinhole viewers. Man Ray was likely attracted to the ambiguities of the scene: a crowd of pedestrians witnessing an event the viewer cannot see, using a device that, counterintuitively, seems to block their vision. Like many of Atget's photographs of Paris, this subject hovers between the documentary and the interpretive, with a disquieting twist that appealed to the Surrealists and to fellow photographer Berenice Abbott, who chose this print as one of twenty images for a portfolio that she believed best encapsulated Atget's oeuvre.  

Physical Description
Crowd of people on a city street looking up at the sky.

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Paris
Urban life
buildings
cities
documentary photography
eclipses
fences
groups
groups of people
lamp
modern and contemporary art
solar eclipses
street lighting units
streets

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display