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Photograph - Solar Effect in the Clouds – Ocean
  • Solar Effect in the Clouds – Ocean
    Le Gray, Gustave, born 1820 - died 1884
  • Enlarge image

Solar Effect in the Clouds – Ocean

  • Object:


  • Date:

    1856–59 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    albumen print

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Chauncey Hare Townshend

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Photography Centre, Room 100, The Bern and Ronny Schwartz Gallery, case EAST WALL, shelf TOWNSHEND

Physical description

Black and white photograph of a seascape with the sun shining through the clouds that is being reflected in the ocean in the centre of the picture.


1856–59 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

albumen print


Height: 310 mm image, Width: 396 mm image, Height: 347 mm sheet, Width: 436 mm sheet

Descriptive line

Photograph by Gustave Le Gray, Solar Effect in the Clouds – Ocean, 1856–59, 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.

9. Gustave Le Gray (1820–84)
Solar Effect in the Clouds – Ocean
Albumen print
Museum no. 67996 []


Photographic paper


Photography; Albumen process

Subjects depicted

Sun; Clouds; Seascape




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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