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Photograph - Study of an Oak Tree (Bas-Breau, Forest of Fontainebleau)
  • Study of an Oak Tree (Bas-Breau, Forest of Fontainebleau)
    Le Gray, Gustave, born 1820 - died 1884
  • Enlarge image

Study of an Oak Tree (Bas-Breau, Forest of Fontainebleau)

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Fontainebleau (made)

  • Date:

    1852 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Le Gray, Gustave, born 1820 - died 1884 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Salted paper print

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Chauncey Hare Townshend

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 103

Physical description

Black and white salted paper print of a big tree in front of other trees. The branches of the tree are slightly vaulted and the treetop is only visible from downside.

Place of Origin

Fontainebleau (made)


1852 (made)


Le Gray, Gustave, born 1820 - died 1884 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Salted paper print


Width: 379 mm Image, Height: 277 mm Image

Descriptive line

Photograph by Le Gray, Gustave. Bas-Breau, Forest of Fontainebleau, 1852, 19thC, Townshend Bequest

Labels and date

Photography Centre 2018-20:

Collection in Focus: Chauncy Hare Townshend (1798–1868)

Chauncy Hare Townshend was one of the few serious collectors of photography in the early years of its development. Apart from Prince Albert, he remains the only identifiable British private collector of early photographs on such a scale. He was an extremely wealthy art collector and connoisseur who moved in the highest social and literary circles – Charles Dickens even dedicated Great Expectations to him. Townshend bequeathed his large art collection, including paintings, furniture, gemstones, books and coins, as well as his photographs, to the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) in 1868. His impressive photography collection ranged from images of political, military and contemporary events to a particularly striking group of French fine art photographs. Practising photographers tended to collect photographs, exchanging works as examples of style and process. But Townshend, who was not a photographer, recognised both photography’s documentary value, and even more so, its exciting new artistic capabilities.

5. Gustave Le Gray (1820–84)
Study of an Oak Tree (Bas-Breau, Forest of Fontainebleau)
Salted paper print
Museum no. 68008 []


Salted paper; Photographic paper



Subjects depicted

Subject; Trees; Oak




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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