Factory, Terre-Noire

Object Details

Title:

Factory, Terre-Noire

Artist/Maker:

Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820 - 1884)

Culture:

French

Place:

France (Place created)

Date:

1851–1855

Medium:

Salted paper print from a paper negative

Object Number:

2002.13

Dimensions:

24.6 × 32.7 cm (9 11/16 × 12 7/8 in.)

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Gustave Le Gray recognized that this bleak factory was a highly unusual subject. Heavy industry was rarely a motif for photography in the mid-1800s. Rather than shying away from it, however, he masterfully recorded the blackened foreground and spreading clouds of smoke that veil the deforested hillsides. Le Gray made this picture at Terre-Noire (Black Earth) in central France, an area rich in coal and iron ore, raw materials that are essential for the production of iron and steel.

Provenance
-

Hans P. Kraus, Jr.

Exhibitions
Gustave Le Gray, Photographer (July 9 to September 29, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 9 to September 29, 2002
Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet (October 19, 2013 to July 14, 2014)
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City), October 19, 2013 to February 9, 2014
  • Saint Louis Art Museum (Saint Louis), March 16 to July 14, 2014
Real / Ideal: Photography in France, 1847-1860 (August 30 to November 27, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 30 to November 27, 2016
Bibliography

Hellman, Karen, ed. Real/Ideal: Photography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century France, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2016), pl. 128.