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Francis Frith 
The Pyramids of Saqqara, from the Northeast 
[Egypt, Sinai and Jerusalem: A Series of Twenty Photographic Views, with Descriptions by Mrs. Poole and Reginald Stuart Poole] 
Albumen print, from wet collodion negative 
38.2 x 47.7 cm (15 1/16 x 18 3/4 ins) (image) 61 x 76.2 cm (24 x 30 ins) (mat) 
Cleveland Museum of Art 
Gift of Charles Isaacs in honor of Louis and Martha Isaacs, 1996.19 
Description (Accessed: 7 February 2019)
Frith was the first photographer in Egypt to successfully use the wet collodion process, introduced in 1851. Its glass plate negatives yielded sharper, more detailed images than paper ones. He even created mammoth plate prints, as this size is called, which required equally large glass plate negatives. Pursuing the process’s exacting chemistry in Egypt’s scorching sunlight was trying. Frith sometimes sought refuge in tombs for the cool air and darkness to process his plates. “Pushing myself backwards upon my hands and knees, into a damp slimy rock-tomb . . . I prepared my pictures by candlelight in one of the interior chambers. . . . The floor was covered . . . with an impalpable ill flavored dust, which rose in clouds as we moved; from the roof were suspended groups of fetid bats.” 

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