'Wady Saboua - From the West', 1859.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A stereoscopic photograph of two sphinxes in the desert at Wadi el Seboua, Egypt, taken in 1859 by Francis Frith (1822-1898). This image is one of a series of one hundred stereoscopic photographs taken by Frith for Negretti and Zambra, published in 1862 in a book entitled 'Egypt, Nubia and Ethiopia Illustrated'. Wadi el Seboua has a rock temple built by Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC) dedicated to the Egyptian god Amon. 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 wealth and made him a household name was his compr