Albumen print from wet collodion negative
Image: 38.3 x 48.2 cm (15 1/16 x 19 in.); Matted: 61 x 76.2 cm (24 x 30 in.)
Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1992.236
Francis Frith was 17 years old when photography was discovered and almost 30 when he became a photographer.
Overcoming both physical dangers and technical difficulties, Francis Frith traveled to obscure regions of the world to capture exotic images for an eager Victorian audience. Taken on the second of three trips to Egypt, this photograph was created with a mammoth plate (typically an 18-x-22-inch glass negative), which enabled the artist to capture the smallest details of a scene. Here Frith conveyed the monumentality of the ancient Egyptian sculpture by including members of his expedition in the picture. The image was published in an album containing 20 mammoth-plate views, the only published volume of Frith's large photographs and one of the first devoted to large-scale prints.
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