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Unidentified temple

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (drawn)

  • Date:

    1823-1824 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Catherwood, Frederick (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil, pen and brown ink

  • 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:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case 85, shelf SC, box 7

Physical description


Place of Origin

Egypt (drawn)


1823-1824 (drawn)


Catherwood, Frederick (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil, pen and brown ink


Height: 31.1 cm, Width: 48.3 cm

Object history note

According to Rodney Searight: - `Bt. from B. Weinreb Ltd., c.1966 in a portfolio' [with SD.1196-SD.1197]

Historical context note

These drawings were made during a journey on the Nile between Cairo and Wady Halfah from 1 December 1823 to 25 June 1824. Catherwood's companions were Henry Westcar, the initiator of the expedition, and two architects, Henry Parke (c.1792-1835) and J.J. Scoles (1798-1863): see RIBA Drawings, O-R, 1976 and Dawson & Uphill, 1972. Parke's measured and topographical drawings survive
in the RIBA. Despite the weakness of several of these drawings, most share characteristics with other drawings by Catherwood (BL Add.MSS 29812-60). The combination of accurate perspective and hesitant line may be explained by his use of a camera lucida and rapidity of execution. However, since Westcar refers to his own use of this drawing aid in his diary of the expedition (see microfilm in Searight Archive of transcript in BL (Add.MS.52283) of MS in German Archaeological Institute, Cairo), the possibility that one or more drawings in this group (eg.the coloured sketch) are by him, should be considered. This expedition was one of the earliest undertaken by professional British architects with the intention to study in detail the ancient temples of Upper Egypt and Nubia. See also Charles Barry.

Descriptive line

Drawing, Unidentified temple, 1823-1824. Probably by Frederick Catherwood





Subjects depicted

Palm trees; Temples




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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