Gustave Le Gray (1820–1884)
A French photographer and painter, Le Gray was born at Villiers-le-Bel,
Paris, and began studying art under Paul Delaroche. He began to experiment
with photography in 1847, and it is with this field that his fame rests.
He was also a skilled painter of landscapes, portraits, and genre subjects,
and this is reflected in the composition of his photographs, particularly
in the cloud effects and dramatic skies of his photographic landscapes
and seascapes. Le Gray exhibited at the Universal Expositions of 1855
and 1867, but his work was not providing him with a sufficient income,
and so he left France in 1860, abandoning his family and escaping his
creditors. He moved to Egypt in 1865 and worked as a teacher of drawing
and painting. Le Gray was a pioneer in photographic paper, and played
an important role in the discovery of photographic collodion. He filed
a patent for his 'dry waxed paper'. He died at Cairo.