Mediterranean with Mount Agde

Gustave Le Gray French

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.

Mediterranean with Mount Agde, Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820–1884), Albumen silver print from two glass negatives

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