Rue St. Augustin, then and now


Boutique art nouveau, 45 rue st. Augustin (2e arr, 1904–05).

Despite being reasonably familiar with Eugène Atget’s celebrated photos of Paris, this picture of a very elaborate Art Nouveau façade is something I’d not seen until now. The photo is part of the George Eastman House collection of Atget prints, and is unusual for showing a very contemporary shopfront. Atget generally preferred premises redolent of an older, pre-Haussmann Paris, like the window full of barometers at Au Griffon, 39 Quai de l’Horloge. The Rue St. Augustin façade is an especially baroque example of Art Nouveau excess with a flying fish, a large butterfly (or moth) supporting the window, and the ubiquitous fin de siècle female floating above it. Naturally I had to know if the decor had survived but a quick look at Google Maps revealed the mundane scene below. The apartment entrance next door is pretty much unchanged but the wine shop that’s there now shows no traces of its delirious past.


Previously on { feuilleton }
Hector Guimard elevations
Infernal entrances
Hector Guimard sketches
Temples for Future Religions by François Garas
Elizabetes Iela 10b, Riga
Atelier Elvira
Louis Bonnier’s exposition dreams
The Maison Lavirotte
The House with Chimaeras

3 thoughts on “Rue St. Augustin, then and now”

  1. I, too, am an Atget fan but don’t recall having seen that particular image. Delirious indeed! It’s a shame that such a wondrous creation is gone. C’est la vie…

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