View from the Window at Le Gras  

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View from the Window at Le Gras is one of Nicéphore Niépce's earliest surviving photographs, circa 1826. Due to the 8 hour exposure, sunlight illuminates the buildings on both sides.
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View from the Window at Le Gras is one of Nicéphore Niépce's earliest surviving photographs, circa 1826. Due to the 8 hour exposure, sunlight illuminates the buildings on both sides.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

View from the Window at Le Gras (La cour du domaine du Gras) was the first successful permanent photograph, created by Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 at Saint-Loup-de-Varennes.

Niépce captured the photo with a camera obscura focused onto a sheet of 20 × 25 cm oil-treated bitumen. As a result of the 8-hour exposure, sunlight illuminates the buildings on both sides.

After an unsuccessful trip to Britain to attempt to interest the Royal Society in the process, Niépce gave the photo to the botanist Francis Bauer. It was last publicly exhibited in 1898, and was thereafter forgotten. Helmut Gernsheim brought the photo to prominence again in 1952 and the Eastman Kodak Company made a copy.

In 1973, the University of Texas acquired the plate from Helmut Gernsheim.

Today, the plate is on display at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.

Life listed it among "100 Photographs that Changed the World".


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "View from the Window at Le Gras" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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