Interior of an Egyptian Temple
Topic: Subject or sitter

Does this view show the interior of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera? The form of the column capitals seems to be the same. Nineteenth-century prints and photographs of the site show that the entrance had not been completely excavated as with the blocked off alcove here on the left.

Al Brown, Entry reviewed by Art UK


Andrea Kollmann,

Google Maps provides several views of the temple's interior, this one has nearly the same perspective as the painting. Even the incision in the left column of the entrance is still there!

Pat Marshall,

Here are two paintings of the Temple of Hathor c.1838,
I question that the one with faces is really one of David Roberts' paintings. the other Image 2105 is in my book of Roberts paintings and so is authentic,

That appears to answer the 'what and where', but can the question be extended to who might have painted it (not Roberts)? Probably someone who did more similar....

Jen Farren,

I will throw in a suggestion of Walter Tynsdale; the attached contains a possible exhibition of the work and a possible account of painting it with illustration. The book mentioned only has one colour plate but the original book allegedly has 60 which might include this work if it was one of his.

1 attachment
Osmund Bullock,

Tyndale (no 's') is an interesting suggestion, Jen, and at first glance looks promising; however our work is an oil, and according to Christopher Wood, after taking up watercolours c.1890 Tyndale "never again used oils". Certainly all the Egyptian scenes that illustrate the two books you reference are in watercolour, and our painting (or even a w/c version of it) is not among them. The books (with all the plates, I think) can be viewed online here and here . The great majority, too, are signed.

Osmund Bullock,

Yes, Christopher Wood's statement (in 'Victorian Painters') is confirmed by a piece about Tyndale in Vol 38 of 'The Studio' (#162 Sept 1906). In 1889 the artist moved to Haslemere (checked in Electoral Registers), and not long afterwards a misunderstanding with a painting pupil forced him to try watercolours for the first time. He postponed the classes, sought advice from a friend, and "the next day he invested in a new outfit, and with one exception has never touched oils since". See:

As Tyndale's Egyptian visits seem only to have begun in the mid or late 1890s, I think we have to rule him out.

Osmund Bullock,

I've no idea what that photo of Bendor and Emma Dabiri is doing at the bottom of my last post - I certainly didn't attach it (or anything else, as far as I remember).


Edward Stone,

Not sure what that was doing there, either! I've removed it now, Osmund.

Edward Stone,

This discussion is now linked to the British 19th C, except portraits group.

Al Brown,

Is it certain this is an oil on canvas? Looking at it again, the surface has a very even texture and, though this may be due to the photo, seems to have little in the way of impasto. It has something of the appearance of a coloured print attached to canvas.

Al Brown,

Thank you for that. It alays the suspicions I had.

I think we can confirm Al Brown's identification of the temple as the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. I am afraid that in the absence of documentary evidence (labels, provenence, etc.) the artist is unlikely to be identified. It is not a particularly high quality painting and hundreds, if not thousands, of amateur artists visited Egypt from the 19th century.

Manto Psarelli,

Thank you all for your contributions. I am happy to recommend that we close this now as all evidence suggests that the Egyptian temple is the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. Art UK, I agree with Andrew's comment that the artist is unlikely to be identified and unless anyone has any evidence to suggest otherwise if you are happy, the record can be updated with the aforementioned location without artist attribution.

E Jones,

I realise that this has been up for quite a while, but is it possible that it could stay up for a few days more please?
Thanks very much

Manto, thank you for posting this to the top of the list today. I'm sorry for the delay. I see that Andrew made his recommendation while I was ill with the virus and this is the first time I've seen it. I haven't caught up on everything that happened in those two months.

E. Jones, many thanks for offering more information. A few more days will be fine.

Manto Psarelli,

Hello Marion - I am very sorry to hear you were ill and delighted to learn that you are recovered and can resume work.

Thank you for agreeing to keep the discussion live for a few more days; I will monitor accordingly.

E.Jones, I echo Marion's comment, looking forward to hearing more soon.

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