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Gustave Le Gray

Born: Villiers-le-Bel, 30 August 1820
Died: Cairo, 30 July 1884
Nationality: French

with Paul Delaroche


1849 – photographs Fontainebleau Forest

1850 – publishes Practical Treatise of Photography on Paper and Glass (Traité pratique de photographie sur papier et sur verre) describing his variant of the dry waxed paper negative process and a recipe for collodion on glass negatives

1851 – teaches photography at Barrière de Clichy (Paris); founds Heliographic Society (Société Héliographique) and French Photographic Society (Société Française de Photographie); contributes to Missions Héliographiques, a venture to record ancient monuments organized by the French Commission for Historic Monuments

1855 – establishes studio on the Boulevard des Capucines (Paris)

1857 – commissioned by Napoleon III to record opening of the Camp de Châlons

1860 – closes Le Gray and Company; sails to Egypt with author Alexander Dumas

1869 – begins teaching drawing and painting at Cairo's Polytechnical Institute


Switzerland and Italy (1843-44); Sicily (1860); Egypt (1860-1884)

Commissions from: 

Napoleon III

Important Artworks: 

In the Forest of Fontainbleu, 1851 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Factory, Terre-Noire, c. 1851

Mass at the Camp de Châlons, 1857

Web Resourses

Metmuseum: Gustave Le Gray