Pharoah's Bed, Island of Philae

Accession Number

Pharoah's Bed, Island of Philae

Antonio Beato

Artist Nationality
British (modern)

Object Creation Date
circa 1880

Medium & Support
albumen print on paper

11 7/16 in x 14 15/16 in (29.05 cm x 37.94 cm);18 1/16 in x 22 1/16 in (45.88 cm x 56.04 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. Howard Bond

Subject matter
This photograph of the temple called "Pharaoh's Bed" or "Trajan's Kiosk" depicts the most iconic structure within the Philae complex, a popular subject for mid- to late-nineteenth century travel photographers. Like Francis Frith, whose version of this subject is also in UMMA's collection, Beato depicts the Egyptian site from below so that the building emerges from a bed of palm trees and other plants in this fertile area on the Nile River. Beato, however, situates the camera somewhat closer to the structure than Frith or fellow photographers elected to do, such that the temple and its decorated columns are half-obscured by palm trees. The photographer seems less interested in conveying information about the archaeological site than in offering an impression of the picturesque environment at Philae.

Physical Description
View of an Egyptian temple and palm trees seen from below.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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archaeological parks
architecture (object genre)
palm tree
temples (buildings)
travel photography

6 Related Resources

Art for Postcolonial Critique
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
British Empire
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Egypt in 19th Century Photography
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Religious Buildings
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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