Pool, Saint-Cloud
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Eugène Atget
French, Saint-Cloud, about 1915 - 1919
Albumen print
7 3/16 x 8 9/16 in.

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By composing this picture with the pool in the foreground, Eugène Atget created a dynamic composition that incorporates the sweeping horizontal curve of the pool's edge as well as the receding line of the trees. The pool and gardens at Saint-Cloud were originally designed for Louis XIV's brother, the Duc d'Orléans, whose landscape architect contrived remarkable perspectives by employing optical illusions. To create the effect of great distance, progressively smaller greenery recedes along the alley behind the pool. Although the royal château that once occupied these grounds burned in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian war, the gardens survived untouched.