Skip to main content
[A collection of 66 photographs from Égypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie: dessins photographiques recueillis pendant les années 1849, 1850 et 1851]. Maxime DU CAMP.

[A collection of 66 photographs from Égypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie: dessins photographiques recueillis pendant les années 1849, 1850 et 1851]

London: E. Gambart & Co., 1852. Folio. (17 1/2 x 12 3/8 inches). 66 (of 125) salted paper prints from calotype negatives, each on captioned mount as issued. Photographs printed at Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard's Imprimerie Photographique, in Lille. With 13 original front and 12 rear parts wrappers (with Gambart's imprint) and with 52 original tissue interleaves with printed captions.

Housed in a black morocco backed box.

The birth of travel photography.

Maxime Du Camp (1822-1894), French writer and journalist, travelled, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, to the Near East in 1849. Accompanied by his friend the novelist Gustave Flaubert, he spent a year and a half photographing the sites. After an initial stay in Cairo, the two friends hired a boat to take them up the Nile as far as the second cataract, after which they descended the river at leisure, exploring the archaeological sites along its banks. In July 1850 they left Egypt for Palestine, Turkey, and Greece before they parted in Italy the following April. On his return a selection of 125 photographs, from a total of 220 taken, were published by Gide and Baudry of Paris, priced at 500 francs a copy. The photographs were printed at Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard's Imprimerie Photographique, in Lille.

A journalist with no experience in photography, Du Camp learned the calotype process from Le Gray shortly before his departure for Egypt. "Faced with a scene before his camera, Du Camp -- neither trained artist nor experienced photographer -- seems to have disregarded any preconceived Romantic accretions attached to his subject, and by intuition discovered a gritty, elevational reality. His imagery demonstrates a conspicuously rigorous point of view for a neophyte photographer, unfettered and remarkably consistent ... Du Camp's images are determinedly unlovely but astonishing nevertheless. Yet this brutal directness has a grace and integrity of its own. His monuments seem less the forlorn, picturesque remains of an ancient civilization, than the grim evidence of centuries of pillage. Far from being a poetic homage, these pictures appear to be an indictment. Du Camp's single foray into photography resulted in a superbly conceived and` well-made volume, and an exemplary demonstration of the photographic art, fully meriting its reputation as the first completely realized photobook" (Parr & Badger)

The present images are from the rare English edition, as evidenced by the surviving wrappers, which was marketed by Ernest Gambart. Includes the following plates:
5 - Le Kaire - Mosquée De Sultan-Haçan
6 - Le Kaire - Mosquée Et Tombeau Des Ayoubites
7 - Le Kaire - Mosquée De Sultan Kansou-El-Gouri
8 - Le Kaire - Tombeau De Sultans Mamelouks
10 - Égypte Moyenne - Pyramide De Chephren
11 - Égypte Moyenne - Le Sphinx
12 - Haute Égypte - Necropole De Lycopolis
14 - Haute Égypte - Girgeh - Vue Generale
15 - Haute Égypte - Mosquée D' Ali Bey
18 - Haute Égypte - Grand Templatée De Denderah Facade Postérieure
19 - Haute Égypte - Grand Templatée De Denderah Sculptures De La Facade Postérieure
20 - Haute Égypte - Grand Templatée De Denderah (Teutyres) Sculptures De La Facade Postérieure
21 - Haute Égypte - Village De Hamameh
24 - Thèbes - Louqsor Vue Générale Des Ruinés
25 - Thèbes - Louqsor Grande Colonnade Du Palais
36 - Thèbes - Palais De Karnak Grand Pyloné Du S-O
41 - Thèbes - Palais De Karnak Sculptures Extérieures Du Sanctuaire De Granit
43 - Thèbes - Palais De Sanctuaire De Granit Et Salle Hypostyle
44 - Thèbes - Palais De Karnak Les Obelisques
45 - Thèbes - Palais De Karnak Proménoir De Tothmés Iii
46 - Thèbes - Médinét Habou Vue Générale Des Ruinés
48 - Thèbes - Médinét Habou Facade Orientale Du Gynéceé De Ramses Méiamoun
49 - Thèbes - Médinét Habou Facade Septentrionale Du Gynéceé De Ramses Méiamoun
50 - Thèbes - Médinét Habou Peristyle Du Palais De Ramses Méiamoun
54 - Thèbes - Gournah Les Colosses
55 - Thèbes - Gournah Statue De Mémnon
57 - Thèbes - Gournah Sculptures Du Troné Des Collosses
60 - Thèbes - Gournah Nécropole De Thébes
61 - Thèbes - Gournah Palais De Ménéphta 1er
63 - Haute Égypte - Templatée D' Hermontis
64 - Haute Égypte - Vue Générale D' Esnéh
66 - Haute Égypte - Entrée De La Premiére Cataracte (Plate66)
67 - Haute Égypte - Sortie De La Premiére Cataracte
68 - Nubie - Philoe Vue Générale Prise A L'ouest
69 - Nubie - Philoe Vue Générale Prise A L'angle S.O.
72 - Nubie - Grand Templatée D'isis A Philoe - Dromos Et Pylonés
74 - Nubie - Grand Templatée D'isis A Philoe - Second Pyloné
75 - Nubie - Grand Templatée D'isis A Philoe - Proscynéma
80 - Nubie - Grand Templatée D'isis A Philoe - Vue Générale
81 - Nubie - Village Et Templatée De L'ile De Beghe
82 - Nubie - Rive Orientale Du Nil
83 - Nubie - Mosque De Bellal
84 - Nubie - Rive Septentrionale Du Nil
86 - Nubie - Templatée De Debod
88 - Nubie - Templatée De Tafah
91 - Nubie - Kalabscheh - Ptoleme-Caesarion
93 - Nubie - Templatée De Dandour
95 - Nubie - Templatée De Dakkeh
96 - Nubie - Templatée De Maharakkah
97 - Nubie - Hemi-Speos De Seboua - Dromos
98 - Nubie - Hemi-Speos De Seboua - Pylonés
99 - Nubie - Templatée D'amada
102 - Nubie - Ibsamboul - Vue Genérale Du Speos De Phre
103 - Nubie - Ibsamboul - Colosse Oriental Du Speos De Phre
104 - Nubie - Ibsamboul - Colosse Oriental Du Speos De Phre
105 - Nubie - Ibsamboul - Sculptures De L'entreé Du Speos De Phre
109 - Nubie - Ibsamboul - Entrée Du Speos D'hathor
110 - Nubie - Ibsamboul - Partie Méridionale Du Speos D'hathor
112 - Nubie - Seconde Cataracte Dgebel - Aboucir
114 - Palestiné - Jerusalem - Quartier Occidental
115 - Palestiné - Jerusalem - Arcades Inférieures De L'église Du Saint-Sepulcre
118 - Palestiné - Jerusalem - Porte Doreé
119 - Syrie - Baalbeck - Interieur De L'enciente Des Templateés Du Soleil Et De Jupiter
121 - Syrie - Baalbeck - Colonnade Du Templateé Du Soleil
122 - Syrie - Templatée De Jupiter, A Baalbeck
123 - Syrie - Templatée De Jupiter A Baalbeck

Parr & Badger, The Photobook I:p.23; Gernsheim 14; The Truthful Lens 47.

Item #32712

Price: $85,000.00

See all items in Voyages & Travel, Photography
See all items by