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View from the Window at Le Gras
(La cour du domaine du Gras
) was the first successful permanent photograph
A photograph is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic imager such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of...
, created by Nicéphore Niépce
Nicéphore Niépce March 7, 1765 – July 5, 1833) was a French inventor, most noted as one of the inventors of photography and a pioneer in the field.He is most noted for producing the world's first known photograph in 1825...
in 1826 at Saint-Loup-de-Varennes
Saint-Loup-de-Varennes is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France.-Notable people:Nicéphore Niépce, the inventor of photography, lived in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, where he died in 1833....
Nicéphore Niépce captured the photo with a camera obscura
The camera obscura is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. It is used in drawing and for entertainment, and was one of the inventions that led to photography. The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side...
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
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...
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
Helmut Erich Robert Kuno Gernsheim was a renowned historian of photography, collector, and photographer.-Biography:Born in Munich, Germany, Gernsheim studied art history at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich...
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
The Harry Ransom Center is a library and archive at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the collection of literary and cultural artifacts from the United States and Europe. The Ransom Center houses 36 million literary manuscripts, 1 million rare books, 5 million photographs, and more...
Life generally refers to three American magazines:*A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936. Time founder Henry Luce bought the magazine in 1936 solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name....
listed it among "100 Photographs that Changed the World".