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Between and Mortarboard

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Puits de la Samaritaine, ou de Jacob – The well of Jacob

Accession Number

Puits de la Samaritaine, ou de Jacob – The well of Jacob

Felix Bonfils

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1867-1885

Medium & Support
albumen print on paper

10 15/16 in x 14 in (27.78 cm x 35.56 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Margaret and Howard Bond

Subject matter
Four women and one man stand facing the camera at staggered intervals near the so-called Well of Jacob. A stone-lined ridge and a staircase indicate the well nearby. This well is traditionally considered to be the one mentioned in the gospel of John in the New Testament, the site where Christ converted a Samaritan woman. Near the upper-right corner of the image, a woman in a black garment stands out as middle- to upper-class, as she is the only one with an umbrella, and she is accompanied by a male attendant. The relation of these two figures in the distance with the three women closer to the viewer remains unclear. The background comprises mainly grassy terrain with sharply rising hills that ascend toward the upper-right corner. This image is one of hundreds of photographs made throughout Bonfils' career which purport to document various landscapes, cityscapes, and people of the eastern Mediterranean. 

Physical Description
Five figures stand facing the camera, interspersed across rocky and grassy terrain. Hills rise sharply in the distance toward the right-hand edge of the photograph. 

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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historic landscapes
natural landscapes
travel photography
water wells
women (female humans)

& Author Notes

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On display