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Sun Rays—Paula, Berlin

A work made of gelatin silver print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


1889, printed 1920/39


Alfred Stieglitz
American, 1864–1946

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.


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Photography and Media


Alfred Stieglitz


Sun Rays—Paula, Berlin


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

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.)

Credit Line

Alfred Stieglitz Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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