Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rare Photos of Egypt from the 1870s

The New York Public Library has shared an incredible gallery of over 9,000 photographs and illustrations of the Middle East from the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century. These include, books, albums and archival compilations.
Monuments of ancient Egypt and the Biblical world figured prominently in the early years of photography. French Academician François Arago (1786-1853) endorsed the new medium in 1839 claiming it would provide a labor-saving means “to copy the millions and millions of hieroglyphics which entirely cover the great monuments at Thebes, Memphis and Carnac, etc.” Immediately artist-travelers took chemicals, cameras, and photographic plates of metal, and later glass into the regions around the southeastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, to record the famous sights that had been known previously to Westerners only through the intervention of the artist’s hand.
In addition to early photographic pioneers Du Camp, Salzmann, Robertson & Beato, and Frith, the collection includes work by image providers catering to tourist travelers in the last third of the 19th century, such as Arnoux, A. Beato, Bonfils, Lekegian, Sébah, and Zangaki. The selection offers resources for exploring Western impressions of the Middle East in that era through the lens of practitioners of the new medium of photography, and in turn through the expectations, preferences, and assumptions of its consumers.

Cairo: Tombs of the Mamelukes to the citadel

Tombs Chalifs, Lower Egypt

The Al-Masalla Obelisk, Heliopolos (Cairo)


Cairo passage of Kasr-en-Nil [Qasr al-Nil]

Old Cairo: Sultan Hassan Mosque and the Citadel

Cairo: Garden of Ezbekieh [Azbakia]

Cairo: Mokattam, Giyuschi Mosque [al-Juyushi]

Tombs Chalifs, Kait Bay Mosque

Giza Pyramids and Tombs of Bedouins

View Towards the Pyramids of Giza

Route to Giza

Cairo: Kafr Near the Pyramids

Route to the Giza Pyramids

View of the Giza Pyramids

Climbing a Pyramid

Cairo: The Citadel and Mosque Mehemet Ali [Muhammad Ali Basha]

Cairo: Mosque el Azhar (the students)

Cairo Mosque el Mouaiyad [Mu'ayyad]

Brechin [el-Badrashin] Ramses II Colossus, Lower Egypt

Sakkara [Saqqara] Step Pyramid

Luxor: The temple, Ramses statues

Luxor: Temple and Columns

Karnak: The Grand Temple

Karnak: The Grand Temple and Sacred Lake

Karnak Temple of Thothmes III [Tuthmosis III], the Statues of Amenhotep I

Thebes: Ramesseum, statues of Osiris

Phylae the Booth

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