'The Temple of Karnac, Thebes - Central Avenue', 1859.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A stereoscopic photograph of the central avenue at the Temple of Karnak in Thebes, Egypt, taken in 1859 by Francis Frith (1822-1898). This image is from a series of one hundred stereoscopic photographs taken by Frith for Negretti and Zambra and published in 1862 in a book entitled 'Egypt, Nubia and Ethiopia Illustrated'. alongside each other, it was erected by Tuthmose II [1491-1479 BC]. The temple at Karnak is the largest religious complex in the world, built over 2000 years and dedicated to the Egyptian gods Amon, Mut and Khonsu. 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. Between 1856 and 1860 he travelled and photographed extensively in Egypt and the Holy Land. His work was published in a variety of formats and editions and established his reputation as one of