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Views, Egypt, Cairo, City of the Dead, Antique Print, Paris, Early 19th Century


Cecile, Dutertre, Febre, Jollois, Jomard, Protain et al. (after)
Baltard, Leclerc, Leisnier, Ransonette, Reville et al. (engravers)
Lepere et al. (architectural plans)
Le Kaire: Vue Perspective d’Une Partie de la Ville des Tonbeaux,  E.M., Volume I, Plate 66.
[Cairo: Perspective View of a Section of the City of the Dead]
from Description de l’Egypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Egypte pendant l’expedition de l’armée Française
[Description of Egypt or Collection of Observations and Research Which Has Been Done in Egypt During the Expedition of the French Army]

Paris: 1st Quarter, 19th Century
Copperplate engraving, uncolored
23 x 16.5 inches, plate mark
28 x 20.75 inches, overall

An engraving from a set illustrating art, architecture and natural history documented during Napoleon’s French campaign in Egypt and Syria at the turn of the 18th century. It shows a detailed view of the Islamic tombs in the section of Cairo known as Al-Qarāfah (City of the Dead) a vast district of cemeteries that includes what the Encyclopedia Britannica describes as “exquisite shrine-mosques and mausoleums of early religious leaders.” The view shows large decorated structures with domed or pyramidal roofs raised on slender columns. Three turbaned men kneel on the ground in the foreground and two others stand further back, providing a sense of scale.

Product description continues below.


Description de l’Égypte was published over a 20-year period with the ambitious goal of cataloguing all known aspects of ancient and modern Egypt, including its natural history. It was based on the work of the Institut d’Égypte, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in a palace outside of Cairo during his expedition in Egypt as part of the French Revolutionary Wars (1798-1801). 160 civilian scholars and scientists worked in the institute’s library, laboratories, and workshops. The idea of a comprehensive publication was conceived by the end of 1798. Production of the finished work took place on a monumental scale, involving 2000 artists and technicians, including 400 engravers. Among the prominent French artists who contributed to this work were botanical artist Pierre-Joseph Redoute and ornithological artist Jacques Barraband. There were two editions beginning in 1808, but in general, there are 10 volumes of plates comprising a total of 894 plates made from over 3000 drawings. Of these ten, the first five volumes of plates depicted Antiquitiés [Antiquities], two État Moderne [Modern State], two  Histoire Naturelle [Natural History] and one of maps. The second edition is known as the Panckoucke edition, published by Charles Louis Fleury Panckoucke in the 1820s.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual toning, wear, handling, soft creases. Occasional scattered light foxing. Margins with scattered short tears, chipping, etc., all easily matted out.


Abu-Lughod, Janet L. and Nezar AlSayyad. “Cairo.” Britannica. (18 February 2021).

“Description de l’Égypte.” Wikipedia. 4 August 2020. (22 January 2021).

Additional information


19th Century