Eugène AtgetFrench (Libourne, France, 1857 - 1927, Paris, France)
At the turn of the 20th century, as old Paris was modernizing and ways of life common in the previous century were becoming extinct, Atget made it his project to document the city as it was and would no longer be. He made many thousands of negatives of city streets, shop windows, architectural details, parks, fountains, interiors, signage, alleyways, and trees.
The slow speed of his film dictated that he work in the morning before the streets were filled with movement, which would result in blurred pictures. This photograph of a tree-lined path in the Parc de Saint Cloud exemplifies the nostalgic feeling evident in much of his work. It shows a road leading seemingly to nowhere, a bleak path lined by bare, spindly trees. Silent witnesses to historical change, the trees are like sentinels powerless to guard against the passage of time.