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Between and Mortarboard

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Fontaine d'Elisée - Elisa's fountain

Accession Number

Fontaine d'Elisée - Elisa's fountain

Felix Bonfils

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1870

Medium & Support
albumen print on paper

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

Collection Area

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landscapes (representations)
natural landscapes
springs (bodies of water)
travel photography

& Author Notes

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