The J. Paul Getty Museum

Lighthouse and Jetty, le Havre

Object Details


Lighthouse and Jetty, le Havre


Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820 - 1884)




Le Havre, France (Place Created)




Albumen silver print

Object Number:



31 × 40.3 cm (12 3/16 × 15 7/8 in.)

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Object Description

Positioning his camera so that the Le Havre lighthouse was precisely in the middle of his field of vision, Gustave Le Grey made this dramatic photograph along France's northwest coast. This composition is far more geometric than many of Le Gray's seascapes. The lighthouse and jetty divides the picture vertically into two nearly equal halves, just as the line of the sea and sky splits it horizontally. The waves lapping onto the pebble beach and the billowing clouds, both of which advance to the right, infuse this brooding image with a dynamic sense of movement.

The Flowering of Early French Photography, 1840-1870 (April 28 to June 28, 1987)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 28 to June 28, 1987
The Flowering of Early French Photography: Selections from the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (December 20, 1988 to May 7, 1989)
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore), December 20, 1988 to February 12, 1989
  • Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo), March 11 to May 7, 1989
Pioneers of Landscape Photography: Carleton Watkins and Gustave Le Gray (September 1 to November 7, 1993)
  • Städtische Galerie im Städelsches Kunstinstitut (Frankfurt), September 1 to November 7, 1993
Gustave Le Gray, Photographer (July 9 to September 29, 2002)
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris), March 18 to June 16, 2002
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 9 to September 29, 2002
Along the Normandy Coast (October 10, 2009 to May 16, 2010)
  • The University of Michigan Museum of Art (Ann Arbor), October 10, 2009 to January 3, 2010
  • Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas), February 21 to May 16, 2010

Hellman, Karen, ed. Real/Ideal: Photography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century France, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2016), pl. 115.