Factory, Terre-Noire

Gustave Le Graybetween 1851 - 1855

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

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.

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  • Title: Factory, Terre-Noire
  • Creator: Gustave Le Gray
  • Date: between 1851 - 1855
  • Location Created: France
  • Physical Dimensions: 24.6 x 32.7 cm (9 11/16 x 12 7/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Salted paper print from a waxed paper negative
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Signature: "Gustave Le Gray" signature stamp in red, recto print, lower right.
  • Object Type: Print
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 2002.13
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Photographs