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Enormous Panoramic Photograph of Cairo

CAIRO. Panoramic Photograph of Cairo.

Cairo, 1870s

Albumen print on paper, comprising multiple joined panels, overall image size 7 x 74 inches. Mounted on linen. Old folds, some wear, but generally in very good condition and with good contrast. Archivally framed.

“What one can imagine always surpasses what one sees, because of the scope of the imagination—except in Cairo, because it surpasses anything one can imagine.”
—Ibn Khaldun (1384)

This splendid and unusually large panoramic photograph of Cairo combines elements of antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern world. In the distance the pyramids at Giza are visible, while a train races along the Nile River between Cairo and the pyramids.

The photograph is dominated by the Citadel and by the Muhammad Ali mosque, which famously has two soaring minarets. Muhammad Ali, the energetic governor of Cairo, razed most palaces and buildings in the 14th-century Mamluk citadel for this grand undertaking, begun in 1830 and completed in 1857.

Cairo panoramic views of this size and scope are very scarce.