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3 July 2014

Treasures of the Institut de France, Anne Lacoste

ANCIENT EGYPT RECAPTURED (1850-1914)

In the early 19th century, the research of the Institut d’Egypte and the deciphering of hieroglyphics laid bare the traces of the ancient Egyptian civilisation that would thenceforth fascinate the West. Egypt’s ancient monuments became a favoured photographic subject. The Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, the oldest institution devoted to the study of ancient history, founded by the Institut de France in 1633, played a major role in the development of Egyptology. The Institut’s library includes an important holding of photographs.

This corpus of several thousand prints demonstrates the medium’s first association with Egyptology in the second half of the 19th century: the first photographic explorations by amateurs, the views published by commercial studios, and the voluminous photographic production of Egyptologists in the course of their work.

Anne Lacoste



Exhibition curator: Anne Lacoste.

Exhibition realised courtesy of the Bibliothèque de l’Institut de France, who lent all the works, based Lucien Clergue’ invitation.Framing by Circad, Paris.


Exhibition venue: Musée Départemental de l’Arles Antique, Rencontres d’Arles 2014.