'The Colossal Statue of Rameses at Abou Simbel', 1859.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A stereoscopic photograph of the giant seated statue of Rameses II (1279-1213 BC) carved from the rockface at Abu Simbel, Egypt, taken in 1859 by Francis Frith (1822-1898). Francis Frith was a pioneer of travel photography. He was also one of photography's greatest entrepreneurs, founding a company that was to become the largest publisher of photographs in the world. Frith saw himself as a romantic adventurer in the mould of Byron. A stereograph is a pair of photographs which, when viewed through a stereoscope, give the appearance of three-dimensional depth. Stereoscopic photography became very popular in the 1850s and 1860s - particularly after it was exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851.