This item has been added to the Database within the Explore Islamic Art Collections project. Information is available in:English, Arabic.
Name of Object:
Photographic views of Hajj, by Muhammad Sadiq Bey
London, United Kingdom
Khalili Family Trust – Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage Collection
Date of Object:
Hegira 1297 / AD 1880
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Albumin print, mounted on card
ARC.pp 211.4: 16.5x21.5cm; mounted: 23.5x32cm. ARC.pp 211.9: 11x16.5cm; mounted: 24x33.5cm
Period / Dynasty:
Shot in Mecca, probably printed in Egypt
Muhammad Sadiq Bey who was the first person to take photographs of Mecca, Medina and the Hajj. An Egyptian army engineer and surveyor, he was also the treasurer of the Egyptian Hajj caravan, travelling numerous times to the Hijaz. Using a technique first invented in the 1850s, Sadiq Bey took his first photographs in 1861 using glass plate negatives, especially useful for large-format frames. His photographs are often signed and dated in the negative. His most important photographs, of both the buildings and interior of the sanctuaries at Mecca and Medina, as well as sites at Arafat and Mina, were taken in 1880 and 1881. For the first time, the pilgrimage and the holy cities were precisely and realistically documented. Sadiq Bey’s photographic achievements were recognized by both the Arab and European world and in 1881 he won a gold medal at the Venice Geographical Exhibition. He published two important works: The Mash‘al al-Mahmal (The Torch of the Mahmal) in 1881, and Dalil al-Hajj (The Guide to the Hajj) in 1896, both of which included his photographs and observations of his journeys. Twelve of his photographs are in the Collection.
How date and origin were established:
Photograph signed and dated in the negative.
How Object was obtained:
Acquired at Gros & Delettrez, Paris, 15 March 2017 lot 228
Sheehi, S., The Arab Imago: A Social History of Portrait Photography, 1860–1910, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.
Citation of this web page:
Qaisra Khan "Photographic views of Hajj, by Muhammad Sadiq Bey" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2021. https://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;EPM;uk;Mus22;2;en
Prepared by: Qaisra Khan