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Photograph - Lighthouse and Jetty, Le Havre
  • Lighthouse and Jetty, Le Havre
    Le Gray, Gustave, born 1820 - died 1884
  • Enlarge image

Lighthouse and Jetty, Le Havre

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1856-1857 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from collodion-on-glass negative

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Chauncey Hare Townshend

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 103, box A(I)

This image shows a lighthouse and jetty at Le Havre, on the French coast of Normandy. It was here that Le Gray made some of his series of seascapes, famous for capturing dramatic lighting and weather conditions. Le Gray used glass negatives that were the same size as his photographs (around 40 x 30 cm). He placed the negative directly on top of photographic paper and printed in sunlight. The prints were then toned in a solution of gold chloride in hydrochloric acid. This resulted in a rich, violet-purple colour and had the added benefit of stabilising the images to help them withstand fading over time.

Most of the V&A’s fine group of Le Gray seascapes came to the Museum in 1868 as part of the bequest of the millionaire art collector Chauncy Hare Townshend. He had kept them in portfolios along with his watercolours, etchings and engravings. They have therefore remained in excellent condition, preserved to museum standards almost since they were made.

Physical description

Photograph of a lighthouse and jetty on the shore of the sea.

Place of Origin

France (made)


1856-1857 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from collodion-on-glass negative


Height: 306 mm image, Width: 405 mm image, Height: 350 mm sheet, Width: 445 mm sheet

Descriptive line

Le Gray, Gustave. "The Lighthouse and Jetty, Le Havre", 1856-9. Albumen print from wet collodion on glass negative. (Townshend Bequest)


Albumen silver process

Subjects depicted

Seascape; Lighthouse




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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