The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx (1858)
About this artwork
Francis Frith was able to create images of the ancient grandeur of Egypt by focussing on the exquisitely rendered ruin or the archaeological site. He was catering for a fast-growing tourist market of educated Europeans who wanted to experience the eternal pyramids, jealously guarded by the silent sphinxes.
- title: The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx
- accession number: PGP R 175.16
- artist: Francis FrithEnglish (1822 - 1898)
- gallery: Scottish National Portrait Gallery(On Display)
- object type: Photograph
- subject: Travel
- materials: Albumen print
- date created: 1858
- measurements: 38.50 x 49.50 cm
- credit line: Gift of Mrs. Riddell in memory of Peter Fletcher Riddell 1985
Francis Frith was Europe's most prolific photographer working in the Middle East, making three journeys there in four years in the late 1850s. His wicker carriage dark room doubled as his sleeping quarters. Despite the hot climate and the threat of local bandits, he produced images of Egypt and the Holy Land that are re-made by the tourist industry even today. Frith founded a publishing firm in Surrey in 1859. He was a hugely successful businessman, employing a large staff of photographers who compiled an impressive archive of images of the British Isles and the Continent.