Our Art / Eugène Atget / Avenue des Gobelins

Avenue des Gobelins by Eugène Atget
Avenue des Gobelins by Eugène Atget

Avenue des Gobelins, 1925

Eugène Atget

Peering into this shop window, you half expect to see the photographer, with his camera, hidden in the reflections in the gleaming glass. It’s like looking through layers of time and seeing them all simultaneously: the wind-tossed leaves on the trees, which are superimposed on a building, in front of which mannequins stand, sporting the latest fashion and uncannily blank expressions. Just left of center, the dummy’s face is sliced by an effect of light, while in the foreground the stripes on the trousers shimmer, adding to the surreal sense that it’s impossible to separate surface from substance.

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