Balzac (drawn by).
Paris. Panckouke. Ca. 1820.
Copper plate engraving (uncolored), image approx. 17 x 25 inches on sheet approximately 21 x 28 inches. Very good condition: very light scattered foxing (mainly outside image area), a few short tears to edges (image not affected). Publisher's blindstamp at top right. This very large, finely engraved image is plate 47 from Volume I of the Antiquities section of the monumental publication "Description de L'Egypte," which documented the research of the "savants" who accompanied Napoleon Bonaparte's ambitious expedition to Egypt (1798-1801). The full title, translated into English reads "Description of Egypt, or the collection of observations and research made in Egypt during the Expedition of the French Army" hinting at the varied purposes of this foray into the Middle East. The European demand for information about Egypt and its glorious monuments led to the publication of two editions of the work, with engravings pulled from the same printing plates; this is from the second edition, uncolored as issued. Shown is a view of Royal Shrines hollowed out of the cliff at the entrance to the ancient quarries found at Silsilis (Silsila); the quality of the engraving powerfully evokes the splendor of this ancient sight. Item #40937