'Hall of the Temple of Karnac, Thebes', 1859.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A stereoscopic photograph of the interior of the Great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak, Egypt, taken in 1859 by Francis Frith (1822-1898). This image is from 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'. 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 the finest travel photographers. But the venture that brought him great w