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Photograph - The Steamboat - Ocean
  • The Steamboat - Ocean
    Le Gray, Gustave, born 1820 - died 1884
  • Enlarge image

The Steamboat - Ocean

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1856 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from collodion on glass negative

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case DELTA, shelf 3

In its extreme economy of compositional elements The Steamboat is unique among Le Gray's seascapes. The lack of clouds, and the horizon blurred by sea mist, creates an environment in which the small vessel at the precise centre seems to sail into the unknown. Comparing this scene with his more visually dense seascapes suggests that Le Gray conceived of the set as a suite of contrasting images, each with a different emotional impact. As an artist, he knew when to apply the drama of a turbulent sky and could easily have added one here from a second negative, as he had done elsewhere. Yet he preferred to leave it barren to enhance the feeling of isolation and vulnerability.

Physical description

Photograph of a boat on the horizon of sea and sky

Place of Origin

France (made)


1856 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from collodion on glass negative


Height: 321 mm image, Width: 417 mm image, Height: 345 mm sheet, Width: 439 mm sheet

Descriptive line

19thC, Townshend Bequest; Le Gray, Gustave. Untitled (Seascape), c. 1856-59

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ebloussants reflets. Normandie Impressionniste - Rouen Rouen: musées des Beaux-Arts, 2013. ISBN: 9782711860623.


Albumen silver process

Subjects depicted

Seascape; Steamboat




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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