As the Paris Photo international fair opens, we showcase works from the city by five influential photographers — all offered in three auction sessions this month, as Head of Sale Elodie Morel explains
Dubreuil’s work marks a turning point in photography between Pictorialism and Modernism. His works are rare; almost all his negatives and prints were destroyed during World War II. Dubreuil photographed the urban landscape from unexpected perspectives and made close-ups of machinery, as well as experimenting with various printing techniques. This work is an example of the oil-pigment printing he frequently used.
Atget was a self-taught photographer but one who is today considered one of the most influential exponents of his art in the 20th century. It was only after his death in 1927 that Atget’s work became well known and this is largely due to the efforts of Berenice Abbott who helped to promote and preserve his pictures.
For Brassaï, the Parisian night revealed not just another facet of the city but another world. In 1933, he published his first book Paris de Nuit which became an immediate hit with its images of a nocturnal French capital between the wars, including many like this that captured the majesty of the city’s monuments.
Ilse Bing, also known as ‘Queen of Leica’, was a leader in the European avant-garde, and exhibited frequently alongside Man Ray, Kertesz and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Her style synthesised the formal qualities of German Bauhaus photography with the concerns of the French Surrealists, with a focus on materials, surfaces, architectural spaces, nuances of movement and texture.
Doisneau’s most famous image has adorned bedroom walls all over the world but this sale item is the unique oversized format realised by the photographer himself. The photo was shot during the Fifties and the couple has come to symbolise Paris as the city of love. This image was printed in 1987 under Doisneau’s supervision.