Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Fontainebleau, chemin sablonneux montant

Artist:
Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820–1884)
Date:
ca. 1856
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 29.9 x 37.7 cm (11 3/4 x 14 13/16 in.) Mount: 53.3 x 63.8 cm (21 x 25 1/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.47
Not on view
Le Gray returned to the Forest of Fontainebleau in the mid-1850s with a larger camera and glass negatives. In contrast to the flickering abstraction of his earlier view (no. 62), this picture translates the experience of moving through the forest into a boldly orchestrated composition. Following the sandy road straight back from the picture plane, the viewer progresses from impenetrable shadow (probably emphasized by some providential error in exposure) to the foliage at the right, past the massive tree trunks standing like primitive colossi and toward the crest of the road and bright sky. But more than recounting the experience of an incidental passage through a landscape, Le Gray's photograph is a powerful drama about darkness and light, palpable expression of the unknown and the ethereal.
Inscription: No inscriptions or annotations visible
Gustave Le Gray; [...]; [François Braunschweig, Paris]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, April 3, 1978

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Photography of Gustave Le Gray," June 4, 1987–August 16, 1987.

Art Institute of Chicago. "The Photography of Gustave Le Gray," September 18, 1987–December 6, 1987.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 25, 1993–July 4, 1993.

Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," August 7, 1993–October 2, 1993.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," June 19, 1994–September 11, 1994.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France. "Gustave Le Gray 1820-1884," March 15, 2002–June 15, 2002.

J. Paul Getty Museum. "Gustave Le Gray 1820-1884," July 9, 2002–September 29, 2002.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.

Apraxine, Pierre. Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company. Reeds Springs, Mo.: White Oak Press, 1985. pl. 28.

Parry Janis, Eugenia. The Photography of Gustave Le Gray. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1987. p. 59.

Hambourg, Maria Morris, Pierre Apraxine, Malcolm Daniel, Virginia Heckert, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 63.

Aubenas, Sylvie. Gustave Le Gray, 1820–1884. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 2002. pl. 96.



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