Gustave Le Gray
[Photographer, b. 1820, Villiers-le-Bel, France, d. 1884, Cairo, Egypt.]
It is my deepest wish that photography, instead of falling in the domain of industry, of commerce, will be included among the arts. That is its sole, true place, and that is the direction that I shall always endeavor to guide it. (1852)
The future of photography does not lie in the cheapness but in the quality of a picture. If a photograph is beautiful, complete, and durable, it acquires an intrinsic value before which its price disappears entirely.
The popularity that daguerreotypes have obtained will soon be surpassed by that of photographs on paper, and their great number scattered among the masses, will form an artistic taste and education, while art itself will no longer be permitted to deviate from the only true path, that of nature. (1852)
Since its first discovery, photography has made rapid progress, especially as regards the instruments employed in its practice. It now remains for the artist to raise it to its proper position among the fine arts. (1856)
In my point of view, the artistic beauty of a photographic print consists... almost always in the sacrifice of certain details in such a manner as to produce an effect which sometimes attains to the sublime in art... There is, thus, only the artist or the man of taste who can surely obtain a perfect work with the aid of an instrument capable of rendering the same subject with an infinite variety of interpretations, because he alone has the intuition of the effect which best suits the subject which he is reproducing. (1852)