(Click on the images to enlarge)
|Edouard Devilliers du Terrage from Louis Reybaud, Histoire de lexpédition française en Égypte (Paris 1830-36) v. 8.
|Jean-Baptiste Prosper Jollois, from Louis Reybaud, Histoire de lexpédition française en Égypte (Paris 1830-36) v. 7.
not on the original agenda of
the Institute of
Egypt, but when
engineers such as
Jollois and Edouard
Devilliers du Terrage
saw the portfolio of
Denon, they recognized a new outlet
for their drafting and
Over the strong
objections of their
supervisor Pierre-Simon Girard, who
was civil engineer in chief and who believed
his minions should be surveying irrigation
ditches and not drawing antiquities, Jollois
and Devilliers embarked on a campaign of
capturing the Egyptian temples and monuments on paper, not with sketches like
Denons, but with precise engineering drawings.
They began with Dendera, and made a
complete topographic survey of the area.
They then constructed careful elevation
drawings, and finally, they attempted with
their pencils to restore the monuments to
their former glory. The expedition moved
south and encountered, just as Denon had,
the magnificance of Thebes, Edfu, and Philae.
Working through the summer of 1799, Jollois,
Devilliers, and other engineers, architects, and
artists filled their notebooks with groundplans, elevations, restorations, and details of
the wall carvings and hieroglyphics.
In September of 1799, the number of
would-be archaeologists was considerably
increased, with the arrival in upper Egypt of
the two antiquities Commissions authorized
by Napoleon before his departure for France.
These included the engineers François-Charles Cécile and Edme Jomard, the
architects Charles-Louis Balzac and Jean-Baptiste Lepère, and the artists Dutertre and
Most of the illustrations in the antiquities volumes of the Description would be done by this group. Lepere liked to do restorations, and his depiction of the Hypostyle Hall in the temple at Philae
, printed in color, is one of the most famous illustrations in the Description
. Cécile carefully drew the wall paintings in a small tomb at El Kab, which excited the savants because they showed ordinary people plowing their fields, sailing boats, and playing music.
| Artist admiring a Colossus at Karnak, from Description de lÉgypte Antiquités
The artists and engineers also took some pleasure in drawing each other at work, and in many of the illustrations one can spot Frenchmen carrying portfolios, as in this sketch by Dutertre of an expedition artist admiring a colossus at Karnak. The artists and
engineers also took
some pleasure in
drawing each other at work, and in many of
the illustrations one can spot Frenchmen
carrying portfolios, as in the sketch by
Dutertre of an expedition artist admiring a
colossus at Karnak
Dutertre performed another valuable
service besides making memorable views of
Philae, Karnak, and the pyramids at Giza.
Whenever he could, he made pencil sketches
of the members of the Commission, and of
those in the military who were particularly
helpful to the savants.
These sketches would
finally be published by Louis Reybaud in his
Military History of the French
Expedition to Egypt
, 1830-36. At the same
time, Reybaud republished all of Denons
sketches, which had been originally published
| Wall painting at El Kab, from Description de lÉgypte Antiquités
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