'Rhameseum facade, Thebes', c 1880.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of the entrance to the Ramesseum mortuary temple at Thebes, Egypt, taken by Antonio Beato (c1825-1903) in about 1880. The columns in the entrance show are carved with Osiride-style statues of Rameses. Each statue shows the pharaoh bound in a shroud with his arms crossed, holding two sceptres. Dedicated to the Egyptian God Amun the temple was built by the pharaoh Rameses II (1279-1213 BC) over a period of twenty years. Antonio Beato owned a photographic firm based in Luxor. From 1862 onwards he produced thousands of tourist images of Egypt. Confusingly, his brother Felice Beato (c1830-1903) was also a photographer who worked briefly in Egypt before travelling in India and the Far East. The two brothers sometimes worked together, signing pictures 'Felice Antonio Beato'.