Silver gelatin on
29 x 40 cm
Epigraphic Survey, Oriental Institute, University
Scene, by Antonio Beato, Signed at lower left "A. Beato."
location of this quiet village scene cannot be identified. Of Egyptian
dwellings, E.W. Lane wrote in his Manners and Customs of the Modern
(1836): "Very few large or handsome houses are to be seen in
Egypt, excepting in the metropolis and some other towns. The dwellings of
the lower orders, particularly those of the peasants . . . are mostly
built of unbaked bricks, cemented together with mud . . . The chambers
have small apertures high up in the walls, for the admission of light and
air--sometimes furnished with a grating of wood. The roofs are formed of
palm branches and palm leaves . . . laid upon rafters of the trunk of the
palm, and covered with a plaster of mud and chopped straw. . . . Most of
the villages of Egypt are situated upon eminences of rubbish, and are
surrounded by palm trees, or have a few of these trees in their vicinity."
The signature of the artist has been partially scratched out of the
negative, a not uncommon result of one photographer having purchased the
plates of another.
© 2002 The University of Chicago