Cloudy Sky, Mediterranean Sea

A work made of albumen print, no. 16 from the album "vistas del mar".
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of albumen print, no. 16 from the album "vistas del mar".

Date:

1857

Artist:

Gustave Le Gray
French, 1820–1884

About this artwork

Trained in Paris as an academic painter, Gustave Le Gray gained renown for his revolutionary process of photographing seascapes. Because of technical limitations, photography could not satisfactorily depict sky and sea simultaneously; in a single image, the sky would appear washed-out, while the water looked too dark. Le Gray resolved this shortcoming by combining two negatives (one for sea and one for sky) made at different exposure times. Although this solution represented a manipulation of photographic technique, rather than being understood as duplicitous, it was seen as an expansion of the medium’s possibilities. Looking back at the most significant accomplishments in photography of 1857–58, Marc-Antoine Gaudin, a critic for the journal La Lumière, proclaimed Le Grey’s seascapes "the event of the year." This photograph was originally bound with others in a single album, Vistas del Mar, comprising an extremely rare collection of these seascapes.

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Photography

Artist

Gustave Le Gray

Title

Cloudy Sky, Mediterranean Sea

Origin

France

Date

1857

Medium

Albumen print, No. 16 from the album "Vistas del Mar"

Inscriptions

Signed recto, lower right, on image, in red pencil [?]: "Gustave Le Gray"; blind stamped recto, on album page, lower center: "PHOTOGRAPHIE / GUSTAVE LE GRAY & C / PARIS"; inscribed recto, on album page, lower left, in brown ink: "[illegible/cut off]"; printed recto, on paper affixed to album page, lower right, in black ink: "CIEL CHARGÉ_Mer Médit [erranée/cut off]; unmarked verso

Dimensions

30.9 × 41.8 cm (image/paper); 50.8 × 64.2 cm (album page)

Credit Line

Hugh Edwards Fund

Reference Number

1971.577.2

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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