Lotus Columns at Gournah
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Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey
French, Gournah, Egypt, 1842 - 1843
7 3/8 x 4 3/4 in.

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The Temple of Seti I is located at the archaeological site of Gournah in Egypt. By moving close to the subject, Girault de Prangey conveyed the gravity and drama of the huge decaying stones. No earlier photograph is known in which the visual elements of light and viewpoint are harnessed so skillfully to express essential aspects of an ancient Egyptian monument. Through his unique, prescient vision, Girault de Prangey created among the greatest achievements in the early history of photography.