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Gustave Le Gray

French, 1820–1884

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Gustave Le Gray

French, 1820–1884

116
Followers
Biography

Boldly asserting in 1850 that photography’s future would lie on paper, Gustave Le Gray refined the emerging French method of developing photographs from paper negatives, using thinner paper and coating it with wax to produce crisper images. Le Gray set out to establish photography’s place among the fine arts and largely achieved that goal with his celebrated portraits and photographs of Paris streetscapes and the Fontainebleau Forest. Although he was trained as a painter, Le Gray distinguished himself as a photographer by recognizing the medium as an independent art form with a unique set of rules that did not necessarily derive from painting. Combining the collodion-on-glass and paper negative processes, he created dynamic images of waves crashing on the shore that many consider to have inspired Claude Monet to paint along the Normandy coast.

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Career Highlights
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Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
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Biography

Boldly asserting in 1850 that photography’s future would lie on paper, Gustave Le Gray refined the emerging French method of developing photographs from paper negatives, using thinner paper and coating it with wax to produce crisper images. Le Gray set out to establish photography’s place among the fine arts and largely achieved that goal with his celebrated portraits and photographs of Paris streetscapes and the Fontainebleau Forest. Although he was trained as a painter, Le Gray distinguished himself as a photographer by recognizing the medium as an independent art form with a unique set of rules that did not necessarily derive from painting. Combining the collodion-on-glass and paper negative processes, he created dynamic images of waves crashing on the shore that many consider to have inspired Claude Monet to paint along the Normandy coast.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta
Shows Featuring Gustave Le Gray