'Les Propylees a Athenes', c 1841.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
An engraving by Riffaut from 'Excursions daguerriennes', based on an original daguerreotype of the Propylea, Athens, by Parisian optician N P Lerebours. The Propylea was built during the height of Athenian power in the 5th century BC. It provides an entrance to the Acropolis and its monuments. In 1640 an explosion in a gunpowder store within the Propylea caused the destruction of most of the building. In 1839, Lerebours began collecting daguerreotype views of Europe and the Near East. Some of these were engraved and published as 'Excursions daguerriennes, reprEsentant les vues et les monuments les plus remarquables du globe' (Daguerreian Travels, representing the most remarkable views and monuments in the world), (Paris, 1841-1844).