Edward Steichen

Nocturne - Orangerie Staircase, Versailles

1908
Category: 
Popularized in the 1870s paintings of James McNeill Whistler, the nocturne, or night scene, was a visual trope for artists drawn to metaphysical renditions of reality. It permitted them to orchestrate the extremes of silhouetted areas and sharp glimmers of light, and to maintain an enigmatic quality in their pictures. Placing a single accent of light on the pediment of the orangery at Versailles, Steichen draws attention to the upper portion of the print in this otherwise murky and deeply silhouetted scene. Around the same time he made this work, he created his iconic Balzac, The Silhouette – 4 a.m. outside the studio of French sculptor Auguste Rodin. [108]
Title
Nocturne - Orangerie Staircase, Versailles
Date
1908
Medium
Photograph
Materials
gum bichromate print
Dimensions
29.5 x 38.3 cm
Nationality
American
Credit line
Purchased 1976
Accession number
33361