Plan du GrandTemple de Karnak D'après larestauration de Brune. Emmanuel Brune.
Plan du GrandTemple de Karnak D'après larestauration de Brune.
Plan du GrandTemple de Karnak D'après larestauration de Brune.
The Most Accurate 19th-Century Architectural Plan of the Great Temple at Karnak

Plan du GrandTemple de Karnak D'après larestauration de Brune.

[France; Egypt?]: 1860s. Original, vintage hand-drawn and colored plan. Rolled. Large format, 4 sheets mounted together. Size: ca. 235 × 70 cm. With a few nicks and closed tears at the edges. Horizontal creases. Pinholes at the corners. Traces of old restoration on the verso. Overall in very good condition.

Brune’s plan of the Great Temple at Karnak is the most detailed and precise 19th-century architectural plan of the monument.

This large, exhibition size plan of the Great Temple at Karnak was designed by Emmanuel Brune (1836–1886), a French architect, and professor at the École des Beaux-Arts.

In 1863 Brune’s design of a main staircase (L’Escalier principal d’un palais d’un Souverain) was awarded the Premier Grand Prix de Rome, which granted the architect a four-year scholarship and a study tour to the Levant. While in Egypt, Brune carried out archeological works and restorations at the sites of Thebes and Luxor, as part of Auguste Mariette’s (the director of the Egyptian Department of Antiquities) excavation projects in Karnak. Besides such activities, for his Envoi de Rome, (a collection of artworks which a winner of the Prix de Rome sent back from the field trip each year to be exhibited in Paris) Brune designed detailed plans and drawings of the sites at Karnak and elsewhere. Plan du grand temple de Karnak, à Thèbes was among Brune’s third-year collection of Envoi which was exhibited in Paris in 1867 (Auvray, De La Chavignerie, 1882; Azim, 1989; Köhler, 1878), and due to the size of the present piece, we assume that this was the one displayed at the exhibition.

Brune’s Plan du Grand Temple de Karnak is more detailed and accurate than it’s 19th-century predecessors (particularly concerning the Courtyard of Middle Kingdom and the Akh-menu of Tuthmosis III), such as Lepère’s Plan, coupe générale et élévation du palais in Description de l’Egypte (Paris, 1812), Prisse d’Avennes’ Karnak: Plan Général des Ruines in Du Camp’s Égypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie (Paris, 1852), or Félix Teynard’ Karnak (Thèbes) Plan des ruines principales in Égypte et Nubie (Paris, 1858).

The plan was reproduced or referred in prominent works on ancient and Egyptian art and architecture, among others in Mariette’s Karnak, étude topographique et archéologique (Leipzig, 1875), Perrot and Chipiez’s Histoire de l'art dans l'Antiquité, Égypte (Paris, 1882), Choisy’s Histoire de l’Architecture (Paris, 1899), or Sturgis’ A History of Architecture (New York, 1916). Brune’s plan of the Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu appeared in Maspero’s Bibliothèque égyptologique (Paris, 1894).

Brune also contributed to the excavations and restorations at the Deir el-Bahari area, especially the Temple of Hatshepsut (Iwaszczuk, 2017), and some sources gave more credit for these works to him than to Mariette (Naville, 1894; The Builder, 1898).

Literature: Auvray, L.; De La Chavignerie, É. B.: Brune (Emmanuel). In Dictionnaire général des artistes de l'école française […]. Vol 1. Paris: Renouard, 1882. p. 175.; Azim, M.: Karnak et sa Topographie. In Göttinger Miscellen. 113. Göttingen, 1989. pp. 33–47.; The Builder: The Architectural Societies. In: The Builder. Vol., LXXV. No. 2909. November 5, 1898. p. 409.; Iwaszczuk, J.: Sacred Landscape of Thebes during the Reign of Hatshepsut […]. Vol. 1. Varsovie: IKSiO PAN, 2017. p. 49. Köhler, B. H.: Die Kunstschule, Ecole national des Beaux-Arts, zu Paris. In Zeitschrift für Technische Hochschulen. Jahrg. III. Nr. 5. Hannover, 1878. pp. 33–36.;.; Naville, E.: The temple of Deir el Bahari […]. London: Egypt Exploration Fund, 1894. p. 12.

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Price: €80,000.00

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