An Eastern Sketch. Part of the Propylon of Philae

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John Frederick Lewis
1805-1876

An Eastern Sketch
Watercolour

Original Orchar Collection
Museum number 272-1987-160

Lewis lived in Egypt for ten years between 1841 and 1851. This sketch of the Temple of Isis at Philae, on the Nile River, is likely to have been done during this time. This was a period that saw the Egypt open up to Europeans. Many took advantage, looting temples and acquiring examples of Egypt's ancient culture by other dubious means.

This restrained sketch appears very simple, a few pencil lines and some washes of colour, but captures the overwhelming scale and complex decorative schemes of the Pylon of the Temple of Isis built between 380 and 362 BC.

An Eastern Sketch. Part of the Propylon of Philae
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