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Sunday, 20 October 2019

The 19th century “master photographer” captivated by Egypt

The 19th century “master photographer” captivated by Egypt: Startling pictures of Egyptian landscapes and temples, taken by enigmatic young photographer John Beasley Greene, have fascinated generations of scholars, arts critic Richard B. Woodward writes in the Wall Street Journal. Now an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Signs and Wonders: The Photographs of John Beasley Greene, brings together a small collection of his negatives, albums and prints. Lauded for their minimalism, stark lines and the interplay of light and shadow, many of his photos captured the walls and columns of Egyptian temples and palaces, like this image of Karnak. Greene visited Egypt three times in his short life, often recording hieroglyphics that Egyptologists back in his home country of France would study and translate. He died in Cairo aged 24, probably of tuberculosis.

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