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Pharaoh's Bed, Island of Philae, 1857

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y30214A/19

Scope and Contents

232 x 159 mm. A view showing the tall and magnificent ruins of the temple with a Nile-boat moored at the left of the print. Frith comments: 'Philae is the most beautiful thing in Egypt; and the temple, absurdly called Pharaoh's Bed, is the most beautiful thing upon the island. I flatter myself, too, somewhat upon the quality of my photograph, - light transparent shadows [always difficult to achieve in the harshness of the Egyptian sun], sweet half-tones, oh discriminating public! It is true that the temple outdoes the Tower of Babel, not only 'reaching unto the heavens', but robbing the picture of well-nigh all its sky - that feature so essential to the picturesque in landscape. But what could I do? I must give that scrap of water, and the Nile boat (a favourite anchorage for travellers' dahibieths, this nook), and I could not falsify the height of the bank, as I see most artists have done to suit the proportions of my picture.'


  • Creation: 1857


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

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Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Fair condition, some fading in from edges.




Frith, Francis, 1822-1898, photographer

Finding aid date

2004-07-01 11:39:55+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom