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Photograph - Gizeh: Excavated temple at the foot of the Sphinx
  • Gizeh: Excavated temple at the foot of the Sphinx
    Bedford, Francis, born 1816 - died 1894
  • Enlarge image

Gizeh: Excavated temple at the foot of the Sphinx

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Giza (photographed)

  • Date:

    4-3-1862 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bedford, Francis, born 1816 - died 1894 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from a collodion-on-glass negative

  • Museum number:

    53654

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 829, box B

Francis Bedford was born in Camden, London, in 1815. Starting out as a lithographer, he moved on to photography in 1853, a relatively new medium at the time. He regularly exhibited at the Royal Photogprahic Society, of which he became vice-president in 1861. In 1862 he joined the Prince of Wales on a royal tour from Cairo to Constantinople. On the way he recorded many historic sites, ruins and local architecture. This photograph of an excavation site was taken in Giza, Egypt, at the foot of the Sphinx. Bedford produced about 190 plates in four months. To do this he travelled with chemicals, 10 x 12 inch glass negatives, a tripod, a darkroom, lenses and a large camera. Upon return, Bedford published a selection of his photographs with Day & Son, and exhibited at the German Gallery on Bond Street. His photographs were well-received by the Illustrated London News, the British Journal of Photography and The Times. In 1867 he was rewarded a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris for his Middle Eastern views.

Physical description

Albumen print of an archaeological site with a number of figures

Place of Origin

Giza (photographed)

Date

4-3-1862 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Bedford, Francis, born 1816 - died 1894 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from a collodion-on-glass negative

Dimensions

Height: 245 mm image, Width: 295 mm image, Height: 350 mm paper, Width: 448 mm paper

Descriptive line

'Gizeh: Excavated Temple at the foot of the Sphinx', Albumen print from a collodion-on-glass negative, Francis Bedford, 1860-1862

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Sophie Gordon, Cairo to Constantinople. Francis Bedford's Photographs of the Middle East, Royal Collection Trust 2013

Stephanie Spencer, Francis Bedford, Landscape Photography and Nineteenth-Century British Culture, The Artist as Entrepreneur, Ashgate Publishing, 2011

Labels and date

Photo London: Beneath the Surface
Somerset House 20 May - 24 August

Francis Bedford (1815–94)
Gizeh: Excavated temple at the foot of the Sphinx, 1862

Commissioned by Queen Victoria, Bedford accompanied the 20-year-old Prince of Wales on a four-month tour of the Middle East. He travelled with large numbers of glass plate negatives, chemicals, and a portable darkroom and produced about 190 images. A number of them were published and exhibited upon his return, revealing to the public far-off countries that only a select few were able to visit in person.

Albumen print
V&A Museum no. 53:654 [20-5-2015]

Subjects depicted

Ruins; Excavations; Archaeology

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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