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.
British collector; The Weston Gallery
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 13," June 2, 1996–September 9, 1996.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographs: A Decade of Collecting," June 5, 2001–September 4, 2001.
Parry Janis, Eugenia. The Photography of Gustave Le Gray. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1987. no. 16, p. 73.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin: Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1995–1996 54, no. 2 (Fall 1996). p. 42.