The Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Amon, Karnak

Gustave Le Gray1867

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Gustave Le Gray was not the first photographer to make images of Egypt's Hypostyle Hall in Karnak--his former student John Beasly Greene was there over a decade before him--but his images are by far the most dramatic. When arranging this photograph, Le Gray waited until a diagonal pattern of light and shadow cut across the center of the composition, receding to the fallen column at the rear. The clarity with which he recorded the hieroglyphics on the temple's forty-five-foot tall columns is a testament to his technical expertise.

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  • Title: The Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Amon, Karnak
  • Creator: Gustave Le Gray
  • Date: 1867
  • Physical Dimensions: 32.4 x 41.6 cm (12 3/4 x 16 3/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Albumen silver print
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Print
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 95.XM.55
  • Markings: (Recto, mount) lower center, artist's blindstamp: "Gustave Le Gray/ Photographe de l'Empereur/ Paris"
  • Inscription: (Recto, mount) lower right, in black ink: "(Karnac) Salle hypostyle."
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Photographs