Magnificent, incredibly rare print of Pompeii by one of Gustave Le Gray's greatest students. Evidently printed by Le Gray himself.
One of Le Dien and Le Gray's greatest images and one of their greatest prints. Incredibly rare. Finest known print.
Mounted on card, numbered 12 and inscribed beneath the image with the title. Mount: 13 13/16 in. 19 3/16 in. (35.1 48.8 cm). Also stamped "Le Dien and Gustave Le Gray" on the image, lower right.
This house was discovered in 1829-30 and again excavated in 1836.
Le Dien's photographs of Italy, printed by Gustave Le Gray, reveal not just remarakable compositions and incredible technical virtuosity but also an extraordinary range of colours. Early photography may not be in colour, but rarely is it black and white, rather it is monochrome. In the case of Le Dien the range of colours is striking and ranges from blue and magenta to green.
Taken at a moment just prior to Pompeii's development as a major tourist sight, Le Dien's photographs have a quiet poetry achieved, in large part, by the disquieting lack of inhabitants. In contrast, the numerous, often banal, nineteenth century prints, watercolours and paintings of Pompeii available for cultured travellers on their Grand Tour, frequently include these visitors as part of their subject matter.