Maxime Du Camp trains in photography for preparing their mission. He is one of the first tourists to understand the increased documentary hit of this technique through the calotype process recently improved by Blanquart-Evrard.
The two young men arrived in Alexandria in November 1849. Gustave was amused by the fury of "Max" to take photos. Their long journey leads them to Karnak, Medinet Habu and Philae. In September 1850 Maxime is photographing Baalbek. Happy with the progress of his project, he sells his camera.
His 214 negative photos are processed in Rome in 1851. The positive prints will be done on papier salé (salt paper), a superb technique that offers an excellent preservation of the images.
Back in Paris, Du Camp prepares his album that will be published in 1852 by Gide et Baudry in folio size 43 x 31 cm under the title Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. The author had selected 125 photos which are pasted on strong vellum and accompanied by 61 pages of comments.
This book is extremely rare. A complete copy with all its images in very good condition is estimated € 200K for sale by Christie's in Paris on April 22, lot 73.
The views of Orient by Du Camp are the first consistent collection of travel photographs. The high quality of their printing was still impossible less than five years earlier.
This sudden passion to which he gave no following was a remarkable breakthrough when considering that the project for recording French monuments now designated as the Mission Héliographique dates from 1851, when Du Camp had already completed his "dessins photographiques".
SOLD for € 205K including premium