Unknown, Mt. Sinai - Full Image

Mount Sinai

Unknown Photographer

Year

1900

Dimensions

10 x 12”

Medium

Albumen Silver Print

Description

The albumen silver print, which used egg whites to bind photographic chemicals to paper, was the first commercially viable method of producing mass-market prints. This albumen photograph of Mount Sinai near the city of Saint Catherine in Egypt might have been bought at a local souvenir shop serving “Holy Land” tourists or purchased through a mail-order catalog catering to collectors interested in “exotic” landscapes from the East. The circle of stones in the foreground is the sole evidence of our presence in a seemingly eternal world of mountains and deserts. This changeless antiquity is, however, an illusion. We only see what is in front of us. The photographer has set up his camera equipment alongside a busy road with a phalanx of assistants directing traffic around his workspace.