The dramatic effects of sunlight, clouds, and water in Le Gray's seascapes stunned his contemporaries and immediately brought him international recognition. At a time when photographic emulsions were not equally sensitive to all colors of the spectrum, most photographers found it impossible to achieve proper exposure of both landscape and sky in a single picture. Le Gray solved this problem by printing two negatives on a single sheet of paper: one exposed for the sea, the other for the sky, and sometimes made on separate occasions or in different locations. Le Gray's marine pictures caused a sensation not only because their simultaneous depiction of sea and heavens represented a technical tour de force, but also because the resulting poetic effect was without precedent in photography.
Inscription: Facsimile signature stamp in red ink on print, recto, bottom left: "Gustave Le Gray"; blindstamp on mount, recto, bottom center: "PHOTOGRAPHIE // GUSTAVE LE GRAY & C// PARIS [encircled]"
[...]; John Goldsmith Phillips, Palm Beach
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Parry Janis, Eugenia. The Photography of Gustave Le Gray. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1987. no. 15.
Barnet, Peter, and Atsuyuki Nakahara. Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tokyo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 22, 28, fig. 3.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 439.