The Pond—Moonlight

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The Pond—Moonlight (also exhibited as The Pond—Moonrise [1][2]) is a pictorialist photograph by Edward Steichen. The photograph was made in 1904 in Mamaroneck, New York, near the home of his friend art critic Charles Caffin. The photograph features a forest across a pond, with part of the moon appearing over the horizon in a gap in the trees. The Pond—Moonlight is an early photograph created by manually applying light-sensitive gums, giving the final print more than one color.

The Pond—Moonlight by Edward Steichen, 1904

Only three known versions of The Pond-Moonlight are still in existence and, as a result of the hand-layering of the gums, each is unique. In February 2006, a print of the photograph sold for US $2.9 million,[3][4] at the time, the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction. The photograph was bought by gallerist Peter MacGill on behalf of a private buyer. This auction is presented in the part 6 of the BBC documentary The Genius of Photography.[5] In addition to the auctioned print, the other two versions are held in museum collections. The extraordinary sale price of the print is, in part, attributable to its one-of-a-kind character and to its rarity.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Pond - Moonrise - Edward J. Steichen - 33.43.40 - Work of Art - Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History - The Metropolitan Museum of Art". The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.
  2. ^ Ewing, William A. (3 June 2017). Edward Steichen: Lives in Photography. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 9780500543467 – via Google Books.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Roger Tooth, At $2.9m, Pond-Moonlight becomes world's most expensive photograph, The Guardian, February 15, 2006.
  5. ^ a b "Rare photo sets $2.9m sale record". BBC News. 2006-02-15. Retrieved 2006-12-28.