Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Mediterranean with Mount Agde

Artist:
Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820–1884)
Date:
1857
Medium:
Albumen silver print from two glass negatives
Dimensions:
31.8 x 40.9 cm. (12 1/2 x 16 1/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1996
Accession Number:
1996.99.1
Not on view
The dramatic effects of sunlight, clouds, and water in Le Gray’s seascapes stunned his contemporaries and immediately brought him international recognition. At a time when photographic emulsions were not equally sensitive to all colors of the spectrum, most photographers found it impossible to achieve proper exposure of both landscape and sky in a single picture. In many of his most theatrical landscapes, Le Gray printed two negatives on a single sheet of paper -- one exposed for the sea, the other for the sky, sometimes made on separate occasions or at different locations. Le Gray’s marine pictures caused a sensation not only because their simultaneous depiction of sea and heavens represented a technical tour de force, but also because the resulting poetic effect was without precedent in photography.
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