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Interior View with Statue, Egypt, Travel Sketch

A work made of charcoal pencil on tracing paper, mounted on paper.

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  • A work made of charcoal pencil on tracing paper, mounted on paper.




Louis Kahn
American, 1909–1974

About this artwork

Louis Kahn’s distinctive and monumental modern buildings feature thick concrete and masonry walls, barrel vaults and arches, and geometric solids punctuated by large voids. To understand these forms, scholars have often pointed to the importance of Kahn’s experience in the early 1950s as a fellow of the American Academy in Rome. While visiting Egypt, Greece, and Italy, Kahn made extensive sketch studies of his surroundings, including landscapes and local buildings. Many of his drawings pay particular attention to the effects of light, with long, raking shadows that extenuate the solidity of a wall or volume and endow the everyday with a strong sense of place. In this sketch from Egypt, Kahn produced a sophisticated study of a statue framed by an irregular archway and hemispherical niche. These experiences helped develop Kahn’s ability to script elaborate spatial sequences through hiding or revealing views, seen in the horizon line of the Salk Institute or the diffuse light in his work in Ahmedabad, India.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


Louis Kahn


Interior View with Statue, Egypt, Travel Sketch


Egypt (Place depicted)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Charcoal pencil on tracing paper, mounted on paper


27.6 × 35.7 cm (10 7/8 × 14 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Three Oaks Wrecking Company, through exchange, and Centennial Fund Through prior Gift of Three Oaks Wrecking Company

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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