Vue générale des ruines de Baâlbek, prise à l'Est
Maxime Du Camp French
Not on view
Maxime Du Camp's mission to Egypt and the Near East in 1849-51 to make a photographic survey of monuments and sites is well documented in his writings and in those of his fellow traveler, Gustave Flaubert. After an initial stay in Cairo, the two friends hired a boat to take them up the Nile as far as the second cataract, after which they descended the river at leisure, exploring the archaeological sites along its banks. In July 1850 they left Egypt for Palestine, Turkey, and Greece before they parted in Italy the following April. Du Camp's album "Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie," published in 1852 and containing 125 photographs printed by Blanquart-Evrard, brought its author instant fame. In addition to the published edition, Du Camp arranged for a private printing of a few portfolios, such as the one in the Gilman collection, which numbers 174 images particularly noteworthy for their warm color and luminescence. Possibly printed in Gustave Le Gray's studio, the present portfolio is
thought to have been in the collection of the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. A journalist with no experience in photography, Du Camp learned the craft from Le Gray shortly before his departure for Egypt.