About this artwork
After achieving considerable success for his seascapes and studio work, Gustave Le Gray received a monumental commission from Napoléon III in 1857. The emperor asked Le Gray to document the newly inaugurated Camp de Châlons, a vast military training ground for 25,000 troops and 6,000 horses. Le Gray’s results were edited and collated into a series of presentation albums offered by Napoléon III to the principal officers participating in exercises held at the camp (this print is drawn from one such album). Unfazed by lengthy exposure times or the immensity of his subject, Le Gray displayed a characteristic sensitivity to composition and light. In this photograph, a mounted officer and a soldier in a bearskin cap are visible in the foreground, but the line of troops receding into the haze suggests the presence of unseen multitudes.
Currently Off View
- Gustave Le Gray
- Chalons Encampment: Maneuvers on October 3 (Camp de Châlons: manoeuvres du 3 octobre)
- Albumen print, from the album "Souvenirs du Camp de Châlons"
- 27 × 36 cm
- Major Acquisitions Centennial Endowment