First Pylon - French Inscription Carved on the Eastern Embrasure at Point H, Island of Fila (Philae)

A work made of salted paper print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of salted paper print.




Félix Teynard
French, 1817–1892

About this artwork

Félix Teynard was one of several artists and scholars who flocked to Egypt to employ the new medium of photography to document ancient sites and complex hieroglyphics ripe for study. Originally trained as a civil engineer, he offered his services to the French Academy of Sciences in 1851, and by the end of that year he had set sail southward on the Nile. Between 1851 and 1852, Teynard made an extensive record of the Nile valley, ultimately producing 160 salted paper prints covering one thousand miles on the river. This photograph shows, along with hieroglyphics, a stone inscription made in March 1799 by Napoleonic troops after their defeat of local Egyptian forces. Others, presumably locals as well, had subsequently defaced the monument, and a French traveler had added one last layer of commentary before Teynard’s picture, incising in colonialist reply: "A PAGE OF HISTORY SHOULD NOT BE SULLIED."

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Félix Teynard


First Pylon - French Inscription Carved on the Eastern Embrasure at Point H, Island of Fila (Philae)






Salted paper print


Printed recto, on paper, upper center, above image, in black: "NUBIE"; recto, on paper, lower left, below image, in black: "Felix Teynard phot." recto, on paper, lower right, below image, in black: "Publié par Goupil et éditeurs, Paris, Londres, Berlin, new-York." recto, on paper, lower center, in black" ILE DE FÎLEH (PHILÆ) / PREMIER PYLÔNE_____INSCRIPTION FRANÇAISE GRAVÈE SURE L'ÈBRASEMENT ORIENTAL, EN M. / Pl. 98." verso unchecked


23.9 × 30.7 cm (image); 38 × 50 (paper)

Credit Line

The Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund

Reference Number


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