Monumental Journey – The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey
The first extensive exploration of the groundbreaking daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey, whose work features the earliest known images of the great monuments and sites of the eastern Mediterranean
In 1842, the pioneering French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804-1892) set out eastward across the Mediterranean with a custom-built camera to explore ancient lands that were largely unknown to the Western world. This book is the first to fully consider the hundreds of daguerreotypes that resulted from his three-year journey, many of which were made using innovative techniques that fascinate photographers to this day. The images, including the first-known photographic documentation of significant locations, offer tangible evidence of historic sites, many of which have since been destroyed, in places such as Greece, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and Jerusalem. They are remarkable and unparalleled portraits of a world gone by.
Copiously illustrated and featuring a geographic glossary of the sites and images, Monumental Journey sheds new light on the arc of Girault’s career, the vibrant orientalist milieu of 19th-century France that shaped his work, and his inventive contributions to the nascent field of photography. It introduces modern audiences to a brilliant yet enigmatic talent, as well as the stunning images, many published here for the time, that make a major contribution to the histories of both photography and eastern Mediterranean.