About this artwork
Although Stieglitz made this photograph of his lover Paula early in his career, he did not exhibit or publish it until 1921 at the earliest; shown frequently thereafter, it became one of his best-known works. In contrast to the more atmospheric, seemingly timeless images he was making at the time, such as The Net Mender, Sun Rays is sharp and crisp, as well as modern in its subject matter—the photographs on the wall include a small studio portrait of Stieglitz himself. Only later in his career, after his conversion to “straight” photography, did Stieglitz recognize the modernist impulses at play in this photograph and connect it to his more recent work.
For more on the Alfred Stieglitz collection at the Art Institute, along with in-depth object information, please visit the website: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection.
- Currently Off View
- Photography and Media
- Alfred Stieglitz
- Sun Rays—Paula, Berlin
- United States (Artist's nationality)
- Made 1889
- Gelatin silver print
- Unmarked recto; inscribed verso, on second mount, in graphite: 21, AI of C 49.698
- Image/paper: 22.7 × 16.9 cm (8 15/16 × 6 11/16 in.)
- Alfred Stieglitz Collection