Market Porter
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Eugène Atget
French, Paris, 1899 - 1900
Albumen print
8 11/16 x 7 1/8 in.

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Posed with one hand leaning on his cane and the other resting on his hip, this market porter was clearly a compliant subject for Eugène Atget's series of portraits of street tradesmen. As was common with the traditional garb of his profession, the porter's knee-length smock drapes loosely around this man's body, while his broad-brimmed hat almost completely hides his face in shadow. Although he probably used his cane for support, such objects as hats and canes were also, ironically, important accessories carried by aristocratic Frenchmen. Hardly an aristocrat, however, this working man was responsible for carrying crates of produce or animal carcasses in one of the Paris markets.