Western Approach to the Acropolis, Athens (49. Athènes. 1842. Acropole. Côté O.)

Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey French

Not on view

Girault’s panoramic view of the famed ancient Greek Acropolis is dominated by the tall building known as the Frankish Tower, one of many Byzantine, Frankish, and Ottoman structures added to the hilltop citadel over the centuries. After Greek independence (1832), most non-Classical features were cleared away—when Girault visited, much of the site was covered in rubble—and the tower was demolished in 1875. In Girault’s mirror-image view, the tower is flanked by the Parthenon (on the left) and the Propylaea.

Girault described his demanding work at the Acropolis (from calculating exposure times to manipulating noxious chemicals in variable conditions) as a rewarding yet challenging photographic campaign: "Nothing in the world is as marvelous or perfect as all that is contained by the Athenian acropolis! As you might guess, the strongest battle occurred there, and God knows how I exerted myself to take my share of the spoils."

Western Approach to the Acropolis, Athens (49. Athènes. 1842. Acropole. Côté O.), Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (French, 1804–1892), Daguerreotype

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