Cloudy Sky—The Mediterranean with Mount Agde

Seascape

1857
Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820–1882)


Dimensions

Sheet: 31.1 x 39.7 cm (12 1/4 x 15 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

1997.241

Medium or Technique

Photograph, albumen print from two wet collodion-on-glass negatives

Not On View

Collections

Europe, Photography

Classifications

Photographs

Gustave Le Gray advanced the painterly aspects of early photography. A pioneer of photographic techniques and a sought-after teacher throughout his career, he is best known for the majestic ocean views that he made between 1856 and 1858. Printed on a scale that was large for its time, images such as this view of Mount Agde, taken along France’s Mediterranean coast, have a visual power that brought Le Gray international praise. The project forced him to deal with the varying tonal intensities of the clouds and sea, which were difficult to record with the available technology. He skillfully circumvented the problem by using two negatives, which he unobtrusively joined at the horizon line during printing.

Inscription

Not signed. Verso, in dark brown ink, l. r.: 8513.

Provenance

André Jammes; Lucien Goldschmidt, New York, 1971; Charles W. Millard III, Chapel Hill, NC; gift of Millard to MFA November 1997.

Credit Line

Gift of Charles W. Millard III in honor of Clifford S. Ackley