Grande vague, 1857

Gustave Le Gray :: The Great Wave, Sète, 1857. Albumen silver print from glass negative. | src The Met
Gustave Le Gray :: The Great Wave, Sète, 1857. Albumen silver print from glass negative. | src The Met

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.  Le Gray solved this problem by printing two negatives on a single sheet of paper: one exposed for the sea, the other for the sky, and sometimes made on separate occasions or in 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. / quoted from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gustave Le Gray :: Grande vague. (The Great Wave, Sète), albumen print, numbered ‘14,918’ in black ink on the reverse, 1857. | src Sotheby’s

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