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Fontaine d'Elisée - Elisa's fountain

Accession Number
1985/2.100

Title
Fontaine d'Elisée - Elisa's fountain

Artist(s)
Felix Bonfils

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1870

Medium & Support
albumen print on paper

Dimensions
8 5/8 in x 10 7/8 in (21.91 cm x 27.62 cm);20 in x 16 in (50.8 cm x 40.64 cm)

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

Subject matter
The photograph represents the so-called Fountain of Elisha (named after an Old Testament prophet), a spring near the ruins of the ancient city of Jericho. A stream comes into view just above and to the right of the center of the image and meanders down toward the lower-left corner in a roughly zigzag manner, with a short waterfall near the bottom edge. Stone fragments and flora line the banks of this stream. The surrounding hilly terrain looks deserted save for a single figure who, seemingly unaware of anyone around him, appears to enjoy a moment of solitary repose. The man sports a white beard and wears a striped garment and a light-colored turban as he sits somewhat rigidly on a rock that juts out of the stream, his knees bared and his feet resting in water that comes up to his ankles. While the photograph itself provides little identifying information about this figure, he is possibly the photographer’s Syrian assistant, Soubangi, placed within the image to provide a sense of scale.

Physical Description
A stream enters the composition from the lower left and cuts through a hilly landscape dotted with shrubs and stone debris. A bearded man in a striped garment and light-colored turban sits on a rock with his feet in the stream just right of center.  

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Figures
fountains
hills
landscapes (representations)
natural landscapes
pond
seated
sitting
springs (bodies of water)
streams
travel photography
trees

& Author Notes

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