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Gustave Le Gray - Portrait of Edmond Cottinet (1824-1895) - 1998.73 - Cleveland Museum of Art

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Gustave Le Gray - Portrait of Edmond Cottinet (1824-1895) - 1998.73 - Cleveland Museum of Art

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Summary

A painter by trade, Le Gray took up photography in 1847 and became a master of light-filled landscapes and seascapes. His early portraits depict his social circle of artists and writers, including his friend and neighbor the playwright Cottinet. He is portrayed here as if in a reverie, perhaps composing a new play in his head. This effect is partly created by the low shooting angle and isolation of the subject in a corner between two bare walls, a rare and casual approach for the time. Posing subjects this way would become a standard ploy for the famed 20th-century photographer Irving Penn, although it is highly unlikely he ever saw this work.

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Date

1895
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Source

Cleveland Museum of Art
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Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

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