Salted paper print from calotype negative
Image: 32.3 x 23.2 cm (12 11/16 x 9 1/8 in.); Matted: 61 x 50.8 cm (24 x 20 in.)
Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1996.253
A pioneering French photographer, Le Secq is best known for his elaborate photographic studies of French architecture. His extensive photographic portrait of Amiens began in 1850 and continued for several years. This detail of the cathedral’s exterior beautifully describes his skill at expressively interpreting historic architecture. The photograph not only displays Le Secq’s preference and talent for isolating fragments of buildings, but even more impressively attests to his ability to capture the play of light and shade over stone sculpture. He deftly used raking light to infuse vitality and plasticity to the centrally positioned carved figure and the architectural elements surrounding it. The lowered frontal camera position stresses an order and formality that Le Secq believed was inherent in Gothic cathedrals.
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