Souvenirs du Sphinx
The pyramids overshadowed the Sphinx for millennia until drawings, prints and, especially, photographs made it an icon. Wouters Deruytters collection is a history of the photography of this solitary, monumental sculpture. The Sphinx sits beneath albumin, collodion or gelatine skies in monochrome hues ranging from brown to pale pink in nineteenth-century photographs to black and white in the twentieth.The Sphinx, a witness to the birth of archaeology and the growth of tourism, has placidly watched a parade of travellers go by. Wouters monumental photographs offer an unprecedented vision of the Sphinx. Exploring the giant with a lions body inside and out, the photographer invites us to the heart of the worlds most enigmatic sculpture. This work and this collection tells us how much heritage awareness shifts from one object to another. After accompanying and documenting admiration for the Sphinx, it is the photographs turn to be preserved and offered for contemplation.
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