Gustave Le Gray - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 12, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Gustave Le Gray began experimenting with glass negatives in the late 1840s, and he quickly saw the benefits of this new technique. Glass negatives, with their ability to capture detail during short exposures, were ideal for the sea views Le Gray began in 1856, a prime example of which is The Brig (Brick au Clare de Lune). The rippled surface of the water and the crisp detail in the ships’ sails and rigging could not have been captured with a paper negative. As always, Le Gray’s thorough understanding of chemistry and craft allowed him to create what at the time was an unprecedented photographic view.

    • Literature

      Aubenas, Gustave Le Gray, 1820-1884, pl. 128 and p. 363
      Jacobson, The Lovely Sea-View: A Study of the Marine Photographs Published by Gustave Le Gray, 1856-1858, p. 8
      Aubenas, Gustave Le Gray 55, pp.84-85
      Baldwin, Looking at Photographs: A Guide to Technical Terms, p.6
      Novak, 19th-century French Master Photographers: Life into Art, p.51, pl.50.


The Brig (Brick au Clare de Lune)

Albumen print from wet-plate glass negative.
12 5/8 x 16 3/8 in. (32.1 x 41.6 cm)
Facsimile signature in red ink on the recto; credit blindstamp on the mount.

Full Cataloguing

$40,000 - 60,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs, New York

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 12 October 2022