Image Gallery 3
The dawn of photography
Images of the Great Sphinx from the mid-19th century
Another of three photographs taken by Maxime Du Camp with a claim to being the first ever photograph of the Great Sphinx of Giza. Taken in December 1849, it was published in a volume of prints in 1852 entitled "Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie". The Sphinx can be seen in the far right of Du Camps photograph of the Great Pyramid.
You can see the original image in the digital collection of the New York Public Library at this link.
An early photograph of the Great Sphinx of Giza taken somewhere between 1853-54 by John Beasley Greene who was a pioneer in archaeological photography. Sadly Greene died a few years later at the age of 24. The full original image can be seen in the digital collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art at this link.
In 1843 John H Allan mentioned a rare shower of rain that fell as he visited the Great Sphinx. In his book "A Pictorial Tour in the Mediterranean" he records "We had scarcely time to examine this singular and gigantic monument of antiquity, when a smart shower of rain, the first we had experienced in Egypt, drove us away ; a neighbouring tomb afforded us shelter, which we found had lately been converted by Hill and Co., of Cairo, into a sleeping apartment, furnished with chairs, tables, etc. for the accommodation of those wishing to pass the night at the pyramids."
14 years later Francis Firth photographed rock cut tombs in the north-west corner of the Sphinx enclosure seemingly being used just as Allan had described. You can see the original image in "Egypt and Palestine Vol. 2" (1858) at this link.