Signed "C. Negre." and titled "Arles." in the negative.
The gate leading into the fortified city of Arles was built in the first century BCE. This view is one of Negre's most well known photographs. The subject of architecture was seen as requiring mathematical accuracy which the camera provided like no other form of representation before it. While his work gives the ramparts a monumental presence, Nègre did away with the mathematical accuracy to demonstrate his eye for the unique play of light on variegated stone. He photographed the structure in the afternoon rather than the morning, preferring the deep shadows that are so prominent here. In effect, Nègre treats the two round towers and masonry as a play of intense values receding into the distance, from the deep shadow of the foreground at left to the distant sun-streaked fields in the background at right. Areas of the print indicate Nègre manipulated details on the negative, painting detail within the shadows in the lower left quadrant of the image.
Badouin Lebon catalogue, un dilettante chez les Primitifs (Paris: 2004) p. 59;
Jacob W. Lewis, Sun Pictures Catalogue Twenty-Two, Charles Nègre (New York: Hans P. Kraus Jr. Inc., 2013) no. 13, pp. 34-35.