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HomeContentsVisual indexesGustave Le Gray

Gustave Le Gray 
Mediterranean with Mount Agde 
Albumen silver print, from two glass negatives 
31.8 x 40.9 cm (12 1/2 x 16 1/8 ins) 
Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1996, Accession Number: 1996.99.1 
Curatorial description (Accessed: 9 January 2018)
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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