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Storefront (Little Bacchus), rue Saint-Louis-en-I'Ile
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This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Eugène Atget
French, Paris, 1901 - 1902
Albumen print
8 11/16 x 7 in.
90.XM.124.13

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·    Shop Sign, rue St.-Louis


The elaborately worked iron on this storefront dates to the 1600s, evoking a time when literacy was uncommon and symbols were a more effective means of conveying an idea. Above the shop's door, a baby Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and revelry, sit astride a cask surrounded by grapevines, announcing to passerby that they could procure wine from the merchant inside.

From behind the glass panes of the shop door, a waitress peers out at the photographer in the street. Though Eugène Atget was far more interested in documenting the facade of the wine shop than the waitress's image, her presence adds an engaging aspect to the composition.