This notable recent acquisition is the work of John Frederick Lewis, who moved to Cairo in 1841 and stayed for almost a decade. He made this drawing on an expedition up the Nile that he took with his wife in 1849–50, around the same time that the first photographers arrived in Egypt. At that time,the temple complex at Edfu was buried to a depth of almost 40 feet. Lewis’s watercolor carefully renders the ruins and records the hieroglyphic inscription,but transcends archaeological description to evoke the thrill of exploration and discovery.Photographers,influenced by painters such as David Roberts and Lewis, often chose similar viewpoints and framing for their depictions.

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  • Title: The Temple of Edfu: The Door of the Pylon
  • Creator: John Frederick Lewis (British, 1805-1876)
  • Date Created: 1850
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 35.5 x 43.3 cm (14 x 17 1/16 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/2015.73
  • Medium: Watercolor (wash and point of brush work) and gouache and graphite
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: England, 19th century
  • Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
  • Collection: DR - British
  • Accession Number: 2015.73

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