Atget made this photograph in the Parc de St. Cloud near the end of his life. He had worked there several times over the previous two decades. This exposure was made within days of the death of his long-time companion Valentine Compagnon. The elements of the composition, the blurred leaves, the atmospheric early-morning light, and the fresh carriage tracks visible in the dirt road are palpably evocative of an overwhelming sense of melancholy and the transience of life. Prints retaining the full, rich tonal scale such as the present lot are very scarce.