Accession Number


Eugène Atget

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1890 - 1900

Medium & Support
gold-toned gelatin silver print on paper

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);8 7/8 in x 6 3/4 in (22.54 cm x 17.15 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Subject matter
While Atget's subject matter is relatively straight-forward – a pond replete with water lilies and reeds – the visual effects that Atget coaxed from his material are formally quite complex. Employing a steep perspective that eliminates the appearance of a horizon line, the pond, reeds, and water lilies fill the full frame of the photograph, similar in many ways to the paintings of water lilies that Claude Monet was producing at the same time. Atget concentrates the visual drama of the scene towards the center of the image; the eye is led from the lower margin of the print upward through a series of visually arresting forms: the striped reflections of reeds, circular forms of the water lilies, and the vertical strands of the reeds themselves in the upper third of the image. The black-and-white palette draws attention to the diverse patterns and textures of the plant life in and around this pond.

Physical Description
View of a pond with water lilies and reeds.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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Nymphaea (genus)
marsh vegetation
modern and contemporary art
parks (grounds)
plant communities (natural)
ponds (water)
reflections (perceived properties)

2 Related Resources

Nature in Photography
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Paris, Scenes and Artists, 19th and 20th Centuries
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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