Jean-Baptiste Gustave Le Gray (August 30, 1820, Villiers-le-Bel, Vald’Oise – July 30, 1884) has been called “the most important French photographer of the nineteenth century” because of his technical innovations in the still new medium of photography, his role as the teacher of other noted photographers, and the extraordinary imagination he brought to picture making”. He was originally trained as a painter, studying under François-Édouard Picot and Paul Delaroche. He even exhibited at the salon in 1848 and 1853. He then crossed over to photography in the early years of its development. He made his first daguerreotypes by 1847. Early photographs included portraits; scenes of nature such as Fontainebleau Forest; and buildings such as châteaux of the Loire Valley.