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Overview

Gustave Le Gray's life was as romantic as any novel. A young painter in Rome, then a fashionable portrait photographer in Paris, Le Gray received commissions from Napoléon III, and astonished viewers with his painterly landscapes and ravishing seascapes. Facing bankruptcy, he fled Paris with Alexandre Dumas to Palermo, traveled to the Middle East, and finally settled in Egypt, where he became drawing master to the ruler's children and continued to make photographs until his death in 1884.

Le Gray's work had remained largely unknown by the general public until he was rediscovered in the 1960s and was deemed by connoisseurs to be the Monet of photography. The fruit of years of research, this complete retrospective offers, as no volume before it, an assessment of Le Gray's important place in the history of photography.

This catalogue was originally published in French to accompany the exhibition Gustave Le Gray, Photographer (1820-1884) at the Bibliothèque Nationale in spring 2002. This English-language edition, edited by Gordon Baldwin, associate curator of photographs at the Getty Museum, coincides with an abridged version of the same exhibition at the Getty Museum that will run from July 9 to September 29, 2002.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780892366712
Publisher: Getty Publications
Publication date: 09/28/2002
Series: Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 11.63(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sylvie Aubenas is curator of nineteenth-century photographs at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

Table of Contents

Foreword8
Preface9
Gustave Le Gray, Between Shadow and Light11
Part 1The Life of Gustave Le Gray
The Youth of a Painter17
Barriere de Clichy: A "University" of Photography31
Boulevard des Capucines: The Glory of the Empire87
The Unfinished Odyssey157
The Flight into Egypt: An Exile without Return175
Part 2The Work of Gustave Le Gray
Gustave Le Gray, Heliographer-Artist209
From the Point of View of Painting233
To Unite Science with Art255
The Expansive Soul of Gustave Le Gray: The Panorama275
The Negatives of Gustave Le Gray in the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris287
On Photographic Collaboration: Firmin Eugene Le Dien and Gustave Le Gray297
From One Century to the Next: The Fate of Le Gray's Work in Photographic Collections315
Appendixes
Chronology329
Biographical Essay, 1860336
Death-Date Inventory342
Signatures, Notes, and Commercial Marks344
Catalogue Entries346
Manuscript Sources384
Published Sources388
Bibliography391
Index394
Illustration Credits402

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