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Drawing - Ruins of the Memnonium, with part of the cemetery of Thebes
  • Ruins of the Memnonium, with part of the cemetery of Thebes
    Head, Charles Franklin Captain, born 1796 - died 1849
  • Enlarge image

Ruins of the Memnonium, with part of the cemetery of Thebes

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (drawn)

  • Date:

    1830 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Head, Charles Franklin Captain, born 1796 - died 1849 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brown wash over pencil, on thick stiff paper

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, Shell International and the Friends of the V&A

  • Museum number:

    SD.496

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case 89, shelf SCX, box 10

Captain Head was an officer in the Queen’s Royal Regiment. After serving in India, he travelled home to England using a detour on what became the well-trodden Overland Route. Arriving from Qusayr from Jiddah and Bombay on 29 December 1829, he crossed the desert to the Nile, visited Thebes [Luxor], and travelled on down river reaching Alexandria on 18 February 1830. On his return to England he published Eastern and Egyptian Scenery, Ruins, &c (1833), a series of lithographs after his own sketches that showed the celebrated monuments accessible from the Overland Route. The Searight Collection contains five of these original sketches, including the one here for Plate 8, published with the title Ruins of the Memnonium, with Part of the Cemetery of Thebes.
The temple's nineteenth-century name derived from the erroneous identification of its colossal statue with the Trojan hero Memnon. The statue in fact represents the Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaoh, Ramesses II, venerated in this temple. The head of another statue of the Pharaoh is seen in this view; its companion, removed from the site by Belzoni in 1816 (see below), inspired Shelley's poem, Ozymandias (1818). On the right are the Osiris columns of the first court of the temple.

Physical description

On the back, faint pencil sketch of the Temple of Hathor, Denderah

Place of Origin

Egypt (drawn)

Date

1830 (drawn)

Artist/maker

Head, Charles Franklin Captain, born 1796 - died 1849 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Brown wash over pencil, on thick stiff paper

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed on the back Thebes

Dimensions

Height: 27.5 cm approx., Width: 41.2 cm

Object history note

According to Rodney Searight: - `The 3 drawings [SD.496-SD.498] bt fr M. Strange, Aug.1978, £90'.

Historical context note

This is a drawing for the artist's Eastern & Egyptian Scenery, Ruins, &c., 1833, Pl. 8, facing p.22. It is one of a group of simliar drawings. [SD.494-SD.498]. The title given is that of the corresponding lithograph in Head's publication. [see SP.313]. Head arrived in Qusayr from Jiddah and Bombay on 28 December 1829, crossed the desert to Luxor, January 1830, and travelled up the Nile, reaching Alexandria 18 February 1830. For further discussion of his volume of lithographs after his sketches (SP.313) and of the Overland Route, see Searight Archive.
See also Captain Robert Moresby (SD.677-SD.687.)

Descriptive line

Drawing, `Ruins Of The Memnonium, with Part of the Cemetery of Thebes', 1830, by Captain Charles Franklin Head

Categories

Drawings; Africa

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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