Le Gray, Gustave

Le Gray, Gustave
b. 1820 Villiers-le-Bel, France
d. 1882 Cairo, Egypt
French painter and photographic innovator.
Le Gray studied painting, and to supplement his income as an artist he took up photography in the mid-1840s. He showed remarkable aptitude, and for a time he was at the forefront of innovation in France and pioneered a number of minor improvements. In 1847 he began gold-toning positive-paper prints, a practice widely adopted later. In 1850 independently of Archer in England, he experimented with collodion on glass as a carrying medium for silver salts. It was also in 1850 that Le Gray introduced his waxed-paper process, an improvement of Talbot's calotype process which was favoured by many travelling photographers in the 1850s and 1860s. Le Gray published instruction manuals in photography that were well received. He travelled to Egypt to teach drawing in 1865, but his health deteriorated after a riding accident and he made no further significant contributions to photography.
1850, Traité pratique de photographier sur papier et sur verre, Paris 1851, 2nd edn, London: T. \& R.Willats (his most significant publication).
Further Reading
J.M.Eder, 1945, History of Photography, trans. E.Epstean, New York.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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