Lighthouse and Jetty, Le Havre thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F

Lighthouse and Jetty, Le Havre

Photograph
1856-1857 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Albumen print from collodion-on-glass negative
Brief Description
Le Gray, Gustave. "The Lighthouse and Jetty, Le Havre", 1856-9. Albumen print from wet collodion on glass negative. (Townshend Bequest)
Physical Description
Photograph of a lighthouse and jetty on the shore of the sea.
Dimensions
  • Image height: 306mm
  • Image width: 405mm
  • Sheet height: 350mm
  • Sheet width: 445mm
Credit line
Bequeathed by Chauncey Hare Townshend
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
68002

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record createdFebruary 5, 2004
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