Thursday, March 15, 2018

07 Photographs, Streets of Cairo & Ghizeh from the 17th &18 Century, Egypt, with footnotes

Francis Bedford, (1815-94) (photographer)

The Sphinx, the Great Pyramid and two lesser Pyramids, Ghizeh, Egypt, 4 March 1862

Albumen print
23.1 x 29.5 cm
Acquired by King Edward VII when Prince of Wales, 1862
Royal Collection Trust, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.

Based on a mark in an interior chamber naming the work gang and a reference to the fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was built as a tomb over a 10- to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC. Initially at 146.5 metres (481 feet), the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. Originally, the Great Pyramid was covered by limestone casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface; what is seen today is the underlying core structure. Some of the casing stones that once covered the structure can still be seen around the base. There have been varying scientific and alternative theories about the Great Pyramid's construction techniques. Most accepted construction hypotheses are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place. More on The Great Pyramid of Giza

Francis Bedford (1815 in London – 15 May 1894) was an English photographer. He began his career as an architectural draughtsman and lithographer, before taking up photography in the early 1850s.

He helped to found the Royal Photographic Society in 1853. In 1854, at Marlborough House Queen Victoria commissioned him to photograph objects in the royal collection.

Francis gave 'Lithographic Artist' as his profession. When the 1861 census was taken, Francis, now an 'Artist', was staying at a hotel in Peterborough. Ten years later he was living at 326 Camden Road, London. Francis now gave 'Photographic Artist' as his profession. He was still at the same address in 1881. More on Francis Bedford

Francis Frith, (1822-1898)
Illustrations of Egypt, ca.1870

Francis Frith (also spelled Frances Frith, 7 October 1822 – 25 February 1898) was an English photographer of the Middle East and many towns in the United Kingdom.  Frith was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, attending Quaker schools at Ackworth and Quaker Camp Hill in Birmingham (ca. 1828–1838), before he started in the cutlery business. He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1843, recuperating over the next two years. In 1850 he started a photographic studio in Liverpool, known as Frith & Hayward. A successful grocer, and later, printer, Frith fostered an interest in photography, becoming a founding member of the Liverpool Photographic Society in 1853. Frith sold his companies in 1855 in order to dedicate himself entirely to photography. He journeyed to the Middle East on three occasions, the first of which was a trip to Egypt in 1856 with very large cameras (16" x 20"). He used the collodion process, a major technical achievement in hot and dusty conditions. More on Francis Frith

Pascal Sebah
The Sphynx

The Great Sphinx of Giza: (The Terrifying One; literally: Father of Dread), commonly referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. Facing directly from West to East, it stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the Pharaoh Khafre.

Cut from the bedrock, the original shape of the Sphinx has been restored with layers of blocks. It measures 73 metres (240 ft) long from paw to tail, 20.21 m (66.31 ft) high from the base to the top of the head and 19 metres (62 ft) wide at its rear haunches. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafre (c. 2558–2532 BC). More on The Great Sphinx of Giza

Pascal Sébah (1823–1886) was a photographer in Constantinople (now Istanbul). He was born in Constantinople, then the capital of the Ottoman Empire, to a Syrian Catholic father and an Armenian mother. In 1857 he opened his first photography studio in Constantinople in the center of the city. By 1873 he was successful enough to open another studio in Cairo. He worked with Turkish painter Osman Hamdi Bey and exhibited at the 1873 Ottoman exhibition in Vienna, Austria.

After he died on 25 June 1886, the studio was managed by his brother Cosmi until Pascal's son, Jean Pascal Sébah, joined in 1888 and went on to run the studio. More on Pascal Sébah

Francis Frith, (1822-1898)
King Senefru Bent Pyramid at Dahshur, ca.1870
Photographic Illustrations of the Egypt

The Bent Pyramid, also known as the Rhomboidal or Blunted Pyramid, attests to an even greater increase in architectural innovations. As the name suggests, the angle of the inclination changes from 55° to about 43° in the upper levels of the pyramid. It is likely that the pyramid initially was not designed to be built this way, but was modified during construction due to unstable accretion layers. As a means of stabilising the structure, the top layers were laid horizontally, marking the abandonment of the step pyramid concept. More on the bent pyramid

Francis Frith, (1822-1898), see above

Francis Bedford, (1815-94) (photographer)
Mosque of Mehemet Ali [Mosque of Muhammad Ali, Cairo]
8 March 1862
Albumen print, mounted on card
24.8 x 29.5 cm
Acquired by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), 1862
Royal Collection Trust, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2014

The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque is a mosque situated in the Citadel of Cairo in Egypt and commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848.

Situated on the summit of the citadel, this Ottoman mosque, the largest to be built in the first half of the 19th century, is, with its animated silhouette and twin minarets, the most visible mosque in Cairo.

The mosque was built in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali's oldest son, who died in 1816.

This mosque, along with the citadel, is one of the landmarks and tourist attractions of Cairo and is one of the first features to be seen when approaching the city any direction. More on the Mosque of Muhammad Ali

Francis Bedford, (1815-94), see above

View of the Tombs of the Memlook Kings, Cairo, Egypt
7.75 x 4.2 inches
From the collection of Dr Paula Sanders, Rice University

Francis Bedford, (1815-94) (photographer)
Tombs of the Memlooks at Cairo [Mausoleum and Khanqah of Emir Qawsun]
25 Mar 1862
Albumen print, mounted on card
24.1 x 29.0 cm
Acquired by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), 1862
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

ANOTHER of those picturesque but nameless mosque-tombs which are scattered over that part of the Desert which lies just without the walls of Cairo and forms its necropolis. Raised at a great cost by the caliph, or the bey for his tomb, it sometimes happened that he never rested there; but found in the utter want of protection for life and property under such governments as have cursed Egypt, a more ignoble and dishonoured grave, with no one to inherit, for none ventured to claim the dangerous honour of being his successor: his name was soon forgotten and his mosque-tomb left to fall into decay, like the dust of the common inhabitants of the earth around him. More on Tombs of the Memlooks

Francis Bedford, (1815-94), see above

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