The J. Paul Getty Museum

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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Object Description

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
Exhibitions
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