INVENTORY OF VIEWS OF GREECE, EGYPT AND CONSTANTINOPLE, circa 1853-1857

Finding aid prepared by Ann Harrison
Getty Research Institute
Research Library
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California 90049-1688
Phone: (310) 440-7390
Fax: (310) 440-7780
Email requests: http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/library/reference_form.html
URL: http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/library/
©2006
J. Paul Getty Trust

INVENTORY OF VIEWS OF GREECE, EGYPT AND CONSTANTINOPLE, circa 1853-1857

Accession no. 2001.R.1

Finding aid prepared by Ann Harrison
Getty Research Institute

Contact Information:

  • Getty Research Institute
  • Research Library
  • Special Collections and Visual Resources
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
  • Los Angeles, California 90049-1688
  • Phone: (310) 440-7390
  • Fax: (310) 440-7780
  • Email requests: http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/library/reference_form.html
  • URL: http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/library/
Processed by:
Ann Harrison
Date Completed:
May 2007
Encoded by:
Ann Harrison
©2006 J. Paul Getty Trust.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Views of Greece, Egypt and Constantinople
Dates: circa 1853-1857
Collection Number: 2001.R.1
Creator: Robertson, James, 1813-1888
Extent: 5.3 linear ft. (3 boxes)
Repository: Getty Research Institute
Research Library
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
Abstract: The collection comprises sixty-nine photographs of Greece, Egypt and Constantinople attributed to the British photographer James Robertson. The majority of these photographs record the ancient monuments of the city of Athens. The remainder document a small number of ancient Greek sites outside Athens, as well as various architectural monuments in Constantinople. Photographs of one ancient and one Islamic monument in Egypt are also included.
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Language: Collection material is in English.

Adminstrative Information

Access

Open for use by qualified researchers.

Publication Rights

Preferred Citation

James Robertson, Views of Greece, Egypt and Constantinople, circa 1853-1857. Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Accession no. 2001.R.1

Acquisition Information

Acquired in 2001.

Processing History

Ann Harrison processed and described the Views of Greece, Egypt and Constantinople in 2001 and 2007. John McElhone, photograph conservator at the National Gallery of Canada, and Teresa Mesquit, photograph conservator at the Getty Research Institute, provided expertise on the techniques of mid-nineteenth-century photographic prints.

Related Material

Comparable collections of James Robertson's photographs of Greece are held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Benaki Museum in Athens.

Biographical/Historical Note

Although James Robertson's photographs have enjoyed broad popularity both in his time and today, until recently many details of his life and career have remained obscure. New research has significantly altered the facts presented in much of the earlier scholarship and helped to clarify the professional relationship between Robertson and Felice Beato, his collaborator.
Of Scottish descent, James Robertson was born in Middlesex outside London in 1813. He trained as an engraver, and by 1833 he was working at the British Royal Mint. In 1841, Robertson moved to Constantinople, present-day Istanbul, having been recruited as part of a group brought in to modernize the Ottoman Imperial Mint. As chief engraver and die-maker, Robertson was known for his elaborate and beautiful designs for Ottoman coinage and commemorative medals. In April 1855, he married Matilda Beato, cementing a relationship with her brothers, Felice and Antonio, who would follow Robertson into photography. Robertson worked at the Mint with ever increasing responsibilities, including appointment to the Imperial Coinage Commission, until his retirement in October 1881. He and his family then immediately left Constantinople for Yokohama, Japan, where Felice Beato had settled. Robertson died there on 18 April 1888.
By the early 1850s, Robertson was engaged in photography as a sideline to his work at the Mint. His short, intense photographic career can be roughly divided into three phases. In the years from circa 1853 to 1855, Robertson worked alone, photographing Constantinople and then Greece. From 1856 to 1857, he worked with his brother-in-law Felice Beato, first with Beato as an uncredited assistant, then as a full partner, and the pair photographed farther afield. After 1858, Robertson only sold prints from earlier negatives.
It is not completely clear when or how Robertson got interested in photography. He may have been drawn into the new medium through his general artistic interests. As well as his numismatic designs, Robertson produced sketches and paintings of life in Constantinople in his early years in the city. Whenever he began, by July of 1853 there is evidence of him selling individual photographs of Constantinople, and by October he had an album for sale. These early forays into photography were successful. By the fall of 1853, Robertson's photographs were being used for engravings in western publications like the Illustrated London News and his Constantinople album was favorably reviewed. He quickly expanded his catalog, photographing in Greece in 1853 or 1854 and publishing two albums of those photographs in 1854. Robertson continued to send his work out to the western market. In January 1855 he exhibited a selection of Constantinople photographs in London, and in May a group of photographs of Constantinople and Greece in Paris. Both venues led to critical acclaim. Also around this time, Robertson opened a studio in Pera, the European quarter of Constantinople, probably primarily as a sales outlet for his prints.
The turning point in Robertson's photographic career, however, was his coverage of the Crimean War. Robertson's location in Constantinople gave him easy access to the war zone. His earliest photographs of the war document the staging of troops outside the city in the summer of 1854, and he subsequently made several trips to the front in 1855 and 1856, documenting the aftermath of decisive battles. Robertson's war coverage brought him an extensive new audience for his work.
It was also at this time that Robertson started working with Felice Beato. By May of 1856 Beato was in the Crimea working as Robertson's assistant. Although the photographs of the Crimea were signed only by Robertson, contemporary documentation indicates that many photographs from the summer of 1856 were actually taken by Beato. Robertson and Beato's collaboration continued after the war. By late summer they were on Malta photographing the island and selling those prints, as well as Robertson's earlier work. They returned to Constantinople that December, soon to set out on their next photographic expedition to document the Holy Land and Egypt. When they arrived in Jerusalem in March of 1857, they were accompanied by Antonio, Felice's younger brother. Antonio Beato would later become an established photographer in his own right, but there is no evidence for his actual involvement in these photographs. It is also with this trip that the signature on the photographs shifts from "Robertson" to "Robertson & Beato." New photographs of Constantinople and Athens with this double signature further document the work of the pair in 1857.
After this burst of activity, however, Robertson and Beato went their separate ways. In 1858, Robertson appears to have quit taking photographs, although he still produced prints of his earlier work until he finally sold the studio in Pera in 1867. The company name of "Robertson & Beato" would continue on new photography for a short while longer, used by Felice Beato, but with no evidence of Robertson's active involvement.
Unlike Robertson, Felice Beato pursued photography as his primary career. He was probably born in the 1820s, possibly on Corfu. After the work with Robertson in 1856-1857, Beato went off on his own. His training with Robertson, especially the experience of the Crimean War and the military connections he made there, set the stage for Beato's subsequent career, as one of the first photographers to serve primarily as a war photographer. From 1858 to 1860 Beato photographed the Indian Mutiny. Many of these photographs, although solely the work of Beato, bear the signature "Robertson & Beato," presumably to take advantage of the company's name recognition. After this initial solo enterprise, further series of military conflicts followed. Beato went to China with the Anglo-French expeditionary force and documented the Second Opium War in 1860. In 1871 he was the photographer for an American naval expedition against Korea. Finally, in 1885 he went on the Sudan expedition to Khartoum to rescue Gordon, although none of these photographs survive.
Between these military engagements, Beato was based in Yokohama, where he had settled in 1863. The following year he formed a partnership with Charles Wirgman, a correspondent and artist for the Illustrated London News who had travelled with Beato in China, supplying photographs for publications and tourist views. The partnership lasted until 1868, when Beato went off on his own. His non-military photographic work in this period included architecture, landscapes and genre scenes, many still bearing traces of Robertson's stylistic influence. By 1877, however, Beato sold his photographic business. He appears to have then been a general merchant until November 1884, when he went bankrupt due to currency speculation. By 1889 Beato had moved to Burma where he would run a photographic studio and furniture business until his death circa 1907.

Scope and Content of the Collection

Sixty-nine photographs of Greece, Constantinople and Egypt attributed to the British photographer James Robertson comprise the collection. The majority of these photographs record the ancient monuments of the city of Athens. The remainder document the antiquities of Corinth, Sounion and Aegina, as well as various architectural monuments in Constantinople. A photograph of the Sphinx and an Islamic monument in Cairo are also included. These Robertson photographs form an important study collection for the early history of photography. Additionally, the photographs of Greece provide rare visual documentation of the state of the archaeological monuments, as well as the practice of archaeology, in the 1850s.
The majority of the photographs in the collection are identified as Robertson's work either through a signature on the negative or the print, or by attribution. Two photographs bear the joint signature of Robertson and his partner, Felice Beato. One photograph may be intrusive, with no clear connection to Robertson.
James Robertson's photography centered on his adopted city of Constantinople, but he also photographed Greece, Malta, the Holy Land and Egypt, as well as the conflict of the Crimean War. Apart from his Crimean War photography, Robertson's images fall into three main categories: panoramic cityscapes, architectural studies and Ottoman types. Only the architectural work is represented in this collection. Robertson had a distinctive style of photographing architectural monuments with groupings of two or three figures in the foreground. Seemingly casual passersby, wearing uniforms, native and western dress, surround the monuments providing scale and lending a touch of romantic, local color for Robertson's northern European clientele.
Robertson's photographs of the eastern Mediterranean world mark the shift from amateur to professional travel photography in the 1850s. Robertson never solely made a living from his photographs, but he was certainly aware of the commercial market and chose and composed his images accordingly. Robertson's images were designed to appeal to a northern European, primarily British, traveler, either civilian or military, and the public back home. He marketed to the growing interest in the East and Orientalism in mid-century Britain, which was dramatically increased by the Crimean War. His photographs were exotic, yet comfortable for the British public because they followed an established aesthetic of presenting the eastern Mediterranean world. In order to reach his target audience, the actual traveler or the armchair tourist, Robertson advertised his work in British publications and displayed his work in exhibitions in London and other European cities.
This collection of Robertson photographs is unusual in that it is composed primarily of his less common photographs of Greece, and in that it represents such a comprehensive set of these photographs. The dates for the photographs used here represent the date the negative was made. Individual prints may have been made at a later point, but for the majority of the prints in this collection, there is no evidence for a substantially later print date.
This collection also displays the range of Robertson's technical practices. The appearance of Robertson's photographs suggest that he used a wet-collodion process for his negatives. As for his prints, Robertson appears to have made use of several processes. This collection includes images printed on plain salted paper and on albumen coated paper. However, the 1850s were a transitional time for printmaking techniques and the technique of the majority of prints in this collection, especially the photographs of Greece, remains ambiguous through visual analysis alone. These ambiguous prints are distinguished by a surface sheen intermediate between the surface type associated with salted paper prints and that of standard albumen prints. This surface sheen could be due to either a heavily diluted albumen image-carrying layer or to a material, such as albumen, used as a post-processing coating over a plain salted paper print.

Arrangement

Indexing Terms

Subjects - Names

Pittakys, K.S. (Kyriakos S.), 1806?-1863

Subjects - Topics

Arch of Hadrian (Athens, Greece)
Archaeology—Greece—19th century
Architecture, Greek—Greece—Athens
Architecture, Islamic—Turkey—Istanbul
Architecture, Mameluke—Egypt—Cairo
Architecture, Ottoman—Turkey—Istanbul
Architecture, Roman—Greece—Athens
Erechtheum (Athens, Greece)
Excavations (Archaeology)—Greece—Athens
Fountains—Turkey—Istanbul
Great Sphinx (Egypt)
Hephaisteion (Athens, Greece)
Library of Hadrian (Athens, Greece)
Mosques—Egypt—Cairo
Mosques—Turkey—Istanbul
Obelisks—Turkey—Istanbul
Olympieion (Athens, Greece)
Parthenon (Athens, Greece)
Propylaea (Athens, Greece)
Süleymaniye Camii (Istanbul, Turkey)
Temple of Athena Nike (Athens, Greece)
Tower of the Winds (Athens, Greece)

Subjects - Places

Acropolis (Athens, Greece)
Aegina Island (Greece)—Antiquities
Ákra Soúnion (Greece)—Antiquities
Athens (Greece)—Antiquities
Athens (Greece)—Buildings, structures, etc.
Cairo (Egypt)—Buildings, structures, etc.
Corinth (Greece)—Antiquities
Istanbul (Turkey)—Antiquities
Istanbul (Turkey)—Buildings, structures, etc.

Genres and Forms of Material

Albumen prints—Egypt—19th century
Albumen prints—Turkey—19th century
Salted paper prints—Greece—19th century
Salted paper prints—Turkey—19th century

Contributors

Beato, Felice, b. ca. 1825


 

Series I.  Photographs of Greece, circa 1853-1854

Physical Description: 3.5 linear feet 2 boxes

Scope and Content Note

The form and appearance of the ancient monuments of Greece and Athens, especially the Athenian Acropolis, have been in a state of evolution since their initial creation. The monuments as we know them today are the product of extensive reconstruction projects of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century after the severe 1894 earthquake, or of even more recent renovations. Robertson's photographs provide a rare visual record of the early stages of archaeological work for which the written records are often sketchy, and which has itself been removed or obscured by subsequent work. Specifically, Robertson's photographs document the archaeological work of Kyriakos Pittakis, who became the ephor of antiquities in the summer of 1836 and remained active until his death in 1863. The tenure of Pittakis as ephor was a period of intense archaeological activity. He was extremely ambitious in both his demolition and his reconstruction efforts, and his controversial projects dramatically altered the appearance of numerous monuments.
The limited details of Robertson's career, and internal evidence from the photographs themselves, suggest that all the photographs of Greece in this collection were made sometime in the period from 1853 to 1854. Although Robertson probably made a second trip to Athens in 1857, there is no evidence that any of the photographs in this collection are from the later trip.
The photographs of Greece, with the exception of the unmounted prints, bear signatures and numbering on the verso. Annotations on the mounts record this information and its location.
Box 1-2

Photographs of Athens, circa 1853-1854

Box 1

2001.R.1-1 West end of the Acropolis

Physical Description: 25.4 x 29.8 cm., on paper mount 29 x 34.7 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The photograph shows the west end of Acropolis shortly after the excavations of Charles-Ernest Beulé in 1852 and 1853. The so-called Beulé Gate, the third century A.D. Roman gate to the Acropolis, is seen still embedded in the medieval fortifications, as it would remain until 1888. Although most of the later construction had been cleared by this time, the Frankish Tower, which was not demolished until 1875, still dominates the western end of the Acropolis. The Klepsydra spring, rediscovered and refortified by the Greeks in 1822 during the War of Independence, is visible at the left of the photograph. This photograph also records the damaged state of the podium of the northern wing of the Propylaia (the Pinakotheke) before the repairs of 1854.
"Signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, No 1"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-2 Propylaia, central section from the west

Physical Description: 31.5 x 25.1 cm., on paper mount 35 x 28.8 cm.

Scope and Content Note

This photograph documents the general clearing of the Propylaia undertaken by Pittakis in 1836 and 1837. Later additions to the building, including Frankish screen walls joining the columns and a Turkish vaulted roof over the central section, have been removed and the interior of the building excavated.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson' on back, No 2"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-3 Propylaia, north wing (Pinakotheke) from the southeast

Physical Description: 31.5 x 25.1 cm., on paper mount 34.9 x 27.9 cm.

Scope and Content Note

As excavations on the Acropolis progressed in the 1830s and 1840s, various structures were pressed into service as storage depots for the antiquities. The north wing of the Propylaia, the Pinakotheke, was used for storage as early as 1833. By 1837 it had been set up as a sort of gallery for viewing the antiquities. This photograph shows sculpture fragments and architectural elements displayed on a shelf-like structure on the porch. The photograph also records the damaged state of the western face of the building's podium before the repairs of 1854.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson' on back, No 3"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-4 Propylaia, central section from the east

Physical Description: 25.1 x 26.8 cm., on paper mount 29.3 x 31.9 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The eastern portico of the Propylaia was excavated by Pittakis in 1839. This photograph shows the line of delineation between the excavated areas to the southeast of the Propylaia and the unexcavated areas to the northeast. Substantial remains of medieval structures behind the north wing of the Propylaia are visible in the far right of the photograph.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed Robertson Constantinople on back, No 4"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-5 Parthenon, from the northwest

Physical Description: 24.9 x 30.6 cm., on paper mount 28.8 x 35.1 cm.

Scope and Content Note

In the period 1842-1845, Pittakis reerected parts of the destroyed central sections of the north and south colonnades of the Parthenon, as well as replacing blocks in the north and south walls. This photograph shows the completely restored ninth and eleventh columns from the east on the north side, as well as several other partially restored columns. In this same period, the small Turkish mosque, which was built inside the Parthenon at some point after the 1687 explosion and which had been used for antiquities storage from 1837-1842, was demolished. The area between the Propylaia and the Parthenon, the foreground of the photograph, had been cleared of the remains of Turkish houses in 1839, but a vaulted Turkish cistern remained at the west end of the Parthenon and was used for antiquities storage at the time of the photograph. The low free-standing walls in the foreground are constructed from sculpture fragments and architectural elements. Pittakis was very concerned about the unauthorized removal of antiquities from the site and attempted to gather the numerous fragments dispersed over the Acropolis in an attempt to protect them. In addition to securing pieces in various storage buildings, Pittakis tried to discourage pilferers by building "walls" of these fragments.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "No 5, also signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-6 Parthenon, from the west

Physical Description: 24.9 x 29.3 cm., on paper mount 28.5 x 34.1 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The west end of the Parthenon shows recent damage from the War of Independence; white scars from the bombardment stand out against the darker patinated surface. The angle of this photograph also clearly shows the Late Roman damage to the west doorway. The large gap between the lintel of the west door and its covering masonry would be filled in with a brick arch in repairs in 1872. A large vaulted Turkish cistern sits at the base of the Parthenon. Used at the time of the photograph for antiquities storage, the cistern would be torn down in 1856 and the rock-cut steps leading to the Parthenon revealed. This photograph also shows the base of the tower built on the west porch in the early thirteenth century with blocks taken from the rear of the Monument of Philopappos.
"No 6, signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-7 Parthenon, from the southeast

Physical Description: 25 x 30.5 cm., on paper mount 28.5 x 34.8 cm.

Scope and Content Note

This photograph shows the partial reerection of columns and wall in the damaged central section of the south side of the Parthenon undertaken by Pittakis in the years 1842-1845. Pieces of timber protrude from the southern corner of the structure propping up the surviving section of the east pediment.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "No 7, Also signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-8 Parthenon, from the northeast

Physical Description: 24.9 x 30.5 cm., on paper mount 28.3 x 35 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Marks from the roofs of small buildings, which until recently had abutted the Parthenon, are visible on the columns of the east facade. The Parthenon's use as a Christian church is also evident in this photograph. Between the columns of the east facade, the lower courses of the Christian apse, which were removed by 1862, are still visible.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-9 Parthenon, interior from the southeast

Physical Description: 24.9 x 30.5 cm., on paper mount 28.7 x 34.8 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Fragments of architectural elements lay scattered across the floor in this photograph of the interior of the Parthenon. Slabs of the Parthenon frieze found in the 1833 excavations sit propped against the north wall. Above this, the consolidation efforts of Pittakis can clearly be seen in the brick lining used to reinforce the north wall. The damaged west door of the Parthenon displays the Roman repairs but does not yet have the brick support arch added in 1872. Traces of Christian wall painting are still evident, especially the roundels on the west wall in the area that was the baptistery.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "No 9, also signed 'Robertson Constant' on back"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-10 Erechtheion, from the east

Physical Description: 24.9 x 30.5 cm., on paper mount 28.8 x 34.8 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Of all the structures on the Acropolis, the Erechtheion sustained the most damage in the War of Independence. During the war, the north and south walls had been almost leveled by the beseiged garrison's search for lead-covered clamps. This photograph of the Erechtheion records the clearing of the accumulated earth from the structure and the partial reerection of the building carried out by Pittakis in the years from 1837 to 1840, especially the partial rebuilding of the damaged north and south walls. The angle of this photograph shows the bricks used to replace the inner facing of the orthostats of the south wall. Also visible in this photograph is the block resting askew on the architrave of the East porch. This block had been pushed out of the way by Lord Elgin's men in the opening years of the 1800s and would not be set right until the large-scale restoration of the building in the early 1900s. The remains of medieval structures behind the Pinakotheke can be seen through the columns of the north porch.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-11 Erechtheion, from the southeast

Physical Description: 24.9 x 30.5 cm., on paper mount 28.2 x 34.6 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The camera angle of this photograph of the Erechtheion provides a clear view of the exterior of the partially rebuilt south wall, from the Caryatid porch to the east porch. Again the use of brick as an inner facing and support is visible on the wall behind the partially rebuilt northeast anta.
"Signed Robertson Constantinople' on back, No 11 (See unmounted Dup – unsigned)"--annotation in pencil on the mount below the image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-12 Erechtheion, from the southeast

Physical Description: 24.8 x 28.9 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The caption added to the mount of the previous photograph indicates that this photograph is a duplicate print, but this is not the case. It is a print from a different negative. Although the camera angle remains the same, the shadows and the figures in the photograph have shifted slightly and the photographs are different exposures. Robertson frequently reshot the same scene varying the positioning and costuming of the figures.
"Robertson"--signed in negative, but not in Robertson's hand. "Erechtheum"--inscribed in foreground on negative. "No. 11 by James Robertson Constantinople"--annotation in pencil on verso of print.
Box 1

2001.R.1-13 Erechtheion, north porch from the east

Physical Description: 33.0 x 25.2 cm., on paper mount 35.1 x 28.9 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The walled-in north porch of the Erechtheion had served as a powder magazine under the Turks. By the end of the war, bombardment had caused the collapse of several columns and most of the roof. The north porch received little attention during Pittakis's 1837-1840 work on the building. The western columns were strengthened, including the addition of iron bands visible in the photograph. The Archaeological Society conducted the primary work on the north porch in 1844-1845. The Society removed the remains of the powder magazine and cleared the blocked doorway into the main part of the structure.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed Robertson on back, No 12 (Titled[)]"--annotation in pencil on mount below image. The image is labeled "Erechtheum, Tetrastyle Portico of the Pandroseum" in the foreground on the negative.
Box 1

2001.R.1-14 Erechtheion, from the west

Physical Description: 25.1 x 29.5 cm., on paper mount 28.7 x 34.1 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Before the War of Independence, the west wall of the Erechtheion had been substantially intact, but by its end, after heavy bombardment, only three of the semi-columns remained standing. In his 1837-1840 work, Pittakis consolidated these elements. However, those last three columns were leveled by a huge storm, which hit Athens in October 1852. The absence of the columns in Robertson's photographs of Athens provides a terminus post quem for his trip to Athens. From this camera angle, remains of two Turkish buildings to the east of the Erechtheion are visible through the columns of the north and east porches. They had been spared demolition, because they were being used for antiquities storage at this time.
"Robertson"-- signed in negative. "No 13"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.2001-15 Erechtheion, from the southwest

Physical Description: 25.4 x 29.8 cm., on paper mount 29.1 x 34.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The photograph again shows the substantial damage to the west end of the Erechtheion. The angle allows a clear view of the later mortared rubble structure overlaying the intact frieze course of the east side of the north porch. Also visible behind the Erechtheion is the line of the north wall of the Acropolis with its medieval crenellated battlements still in place.
"No 14, Signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-16 Erechtheion, south porch from the southwest

Physical Description: 33.3 x 25.2 cm., on paper mount 35.2 x 28.2 cm.

Scope and Content Note

In the early nineteenth century, the Caryatid porch of the Erechtheion suffered first from the attentions of Lord Elgin's men and then the bombardments of the war. In his 1837-1840 work on the building, Pittakis did limited restoration on the porch, reerecting one fallen caryatid and identifying pieces of others. The main restoration of the caryatid porch, however, was conducted in 1846-1847 by the French architect A. Paccard and funded by contributions from France. Paccard reerected the caryatids, including a replica of the one taken by Elgin, and did substantial rebuilding on the architrave and podium. In this photograph, the newly carved blocks stand out whitely from their neighbors and patches of brickwork suggest Pittakis's hand. Robertson's photographs of the Caryatid porch taken shortly after the Paccard restoration capture the monument before the addition of wood and iron supports was deemed necessary to carry the architrave in the 1860s.
"Signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-17 Temple of Athena Nike, from the east

Physical Description: 26.6 x 30.2 cm., on paper mount 28.2 x 35.2 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Just before the Venetian siege of 1687, the Turks demolished the Temple of Athena Nike. The krepidoma of the temple remained substantially intact and most of the upper elements of the temple were built into the gun battery erected over the bastion. In 1835 Ludwig Ross, the first ephor of antiquities, removed the Turkish bastion and Frankish fortifications covering the western end of the Acropolis and found the remains of the temple. In 1835-1836, he reerected the temple, raising the north and east sides as high as the architrave, while the two other sides were left half-finished. This was the first large-scale restoration project on the Acropolis and had tremendous symbolic importance for the new nation. The reconstruction of the building was completed to frieze level by Pittakis in 1843-1844. The angle of this photograph demonstrates the building's use as a storage depot. The "sandal binder" slab from the parapet is visible through the central columns. This photograph also appears to document an early, open stage in this use of the building. The gates erected across the front of the temple, clearly visible in photographs of the 1860s, are not seen here.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Titled, No 16, also signed Robertson on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image. Image labelled as "The Temple of Victory Apteros" in right foreground on negative.
Box 1

2001.R.1-18 Temple of Athena Nike, from the southwest

Physical Description: 31.8 x 26.4 cm., on paper mount 35.3 x 30.1 cm.

Scope and Content Note

In the opening years of the 1800s, Lord Elgin's men had pulled four slabs of the Nike temple's frieze out of the bastion. This photograph shows the installation of casts of these blocks on the north side of the temple in Pittakis's reconstruction.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, No 17"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-19 Olympieion, from the southeast, with Acropolis in the background

Physical Description: 26.4 x 30.7 cm., on paper mount 30.3 x 34.6 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The gradual destruction of the Olympieion began as early as the third century A.D., when parts of the precinct wall were removed for use in a new city wall. This use of the temple as a ready source of building stone continued throughout medieval and Turkish times. By the early nineteenth century, the walls were completely gone and only 16 of the original 104 columns remained standing: a group of 13 columns at the southeast corner and another line of three columns further along the south side. The central column of this group of three fell in the massive storm that hit Athens in October of 1852.
"Signed 'Robertson' on back, No 18"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-20 Olympieion, from the east

Physical Description: 31.9 x 25.3 cm., on paper mount 34.8 x 28.8 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The Olympieion was a favorite subject of artists and photographers in the ninteenth century. This popularity was due to the preservation of the standing columns and the massive scale of the monument. Robertson's inclusion of human figures in the composition dramatically emphasizes the impressive size of the temple. Also visible on the right side of this photograph is the south slope of the Acropolis with the Thrasyllos Monument standing out sharply above the as yet unexcavated cavea of the Theater of Dionysos.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson' on back, No 19"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-21 Olympieion, from the southwest

Physical Description: 31.4 x 25.5 cm., on paper mount 34.7 x 28.8 cm.

Scope and Content Note

This photograph provides a clear view of the medieval structure, often refered to as the hermitage of a stylite, atop the two southernmost columns of the main surviving group of columns in the southeast corner of the temple. This structure, which may actually have been some sort of look-out tower, was removed in the 1870s.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed Robertson Constantinople on back, No 20"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-22 Olympieion, from the west

Physical Description: 31.4 x 25.3 cm., on paper mount 34.7 x 29.2 cm.

Scope and Content Note

By the 1850s the Greek Archaeological Service was taking a more conservative approach to the care of the monuments. Whereas archaeological monuments and remains had previously just been part of the fabric of the city, there was now a new concern with controlling general public access to the antiquities. As can be seen in this photograph, the remains of the column that fell in 1852, are fenced off and a guard house erected next to it.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed Robertson Constantinople on back, No 21"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-23 Hephaisteion, from the southwest

Physical Description: 25.5 x 30.4 cm., on paper mount 28.8 x 34.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The Hephaisteion had remained substantially intact since antiquity due to its conversion to a Christian church in the seventh century A.D. In 1834, by which time it was serving as the Church of St. George, the government took over the building for use as the Central Archaeological Museum and it would remain the main museum in Athens until 1874, when the Akropolis Museum opened. The building continued to be used as a storage depot until the 1930s. The Hephaisteion's role as a museum is indicated in this photograph by the presence of a guardhouse in the pteroma and the scattering of antiquities, including a garland sarcophagus, around the exterior of the building.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed Robertson on back, No 22"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-24 Hephaisteion, from the southeast

Physical Description: 25.4 x 30.4 cm., on paper mount 28.7 x 33.9 cm.

Scope and Content Note

When the Hephaisteion was converted to a church in the seventh century, a vaulted ceiling was added, as well as an apse at the end of the building. The angle of this photograph clearly shows the modification of the temple's roofline. The apse was removed when the building was converted to a museum, thus this photograph shows the east end of the temple restored closer to its original state. The statue standing on the south side of the building is a Nike excavated at Megara in 1841.
"Signed Robertson Constantinople, No 23"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-25 Hephaisteion, from the northwest

Physical Description: 25.3 x 30.4 cm., on paper mount 28.8 x 34.3 cm.

Scope and Content Note

This photograph shows an early consolidation attempt on the northwest corner column of the Hephaisteion. In 1820, iron bands were used to stabilize the column, which had been damaged when lightning struck the building.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, No 24"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-26 Tower of the Winds, from the north

Physical Description: 31.4 x 24.8 cm., on paper mount 35.2 x 28 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The Tower of the Winds, the popular name of the Horologion of Andronikos, survived from antiquity substantially intact. It was first converted to Christian use, and much later during the Turkish occupation, the partially buried building served as a tekke or meeting place for dervishes. After the War of Independence, Pittakis cleared the accumulated earth from the inside and the immediate area outside the monument in a series of investigations and small-scale excavations from 1838 to 1842. From 1843 to 1875, the building was used for antiquities storage.
Robertson's photograph shows a small clear area around the monument, but the adjacent area is still encumbered by late walls and structures. The new mid-century concern with controling access to the antiquities and monuments is expressed by the fence and the presence of the seated guard.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, No 25"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-27 Tower of the Winds, from the west/southwest

Physical Description: 31.4 x 24.9 cm., on paper mount 35.2 x 28.8 cm.

Scope and Content Note

This photograph was taken from the unexcavated area to the west of the Tower of the Winds, as indicated by the high ground level and the remains of a late wall.
"Signed 'Robertson Constant' on back, No 26"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-28 Tower of the Winds, from the southeast

Physical Description: 32.9 x 25.7 cm., on paper mount 35.3 x 29.1 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Again, the high ground level in relation to the structure and the remains of the late wall indicate that Robertson shot this photograph from an unexcavated area adjacent to the monument. The angle of this photograph also clearly shows the new bronze sundial gnomons added in 1845-1846 to the sides of the monument just under the frieze.
"No 27, Signed 'Roberson (sic) Constant' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-29 Tower of the Winds, from the south

Physical Description: 25.2 x 30.3 cm., on paper mount 28.5 x 34.8 cm.

Scope and Content Note

This wider-angle photograph of the Tower of the Winds places the monument in its context. The arches of the so-called Agoranomion fill the left foreground and a large clock tower stands in the middle background. The clock was given to Athens by Ludwig of Bavaria in 1848. It replaced the tower built by the city to house the clock given by Lord Elgin in 1814 as part of the deal for the removal of the Parthenon sculptures. Elgin's clock was destroyed in the War of Independence. Ludwig's clock and tower would be destroyed in a fire in 1885.
"Signed 'Robertson' on back, No 28"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 1

2001.R.1-30 Arch of Hadrian, from the west

Physical Description: 32.8 x 24.9 cm., on paper mount 35.2 x 28.4 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The Arch of Hadrian still shows traces of its post-Classical history in this photograph. Originally built as a free-standing monument, the arch was eventually incorporated into the Turkish circuit wall, Haseki's Wall, in 1788 and used as a gate. The attic or second story of the arch most clearly shows these later changes to the monument. The marble slabs blocking the central arch were part of the original Roman design. However, the masonry blocking the side arches is either Christian, relating to possible use of the second story as a chapel, or Turkish, related to the incorporation into Haseki's wall. These attic walls fell in 1861.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson Constant' on back, Titled, No 29"--annotation in pencil on mount below image. Image labelled as "The Arch of Hadrian with the Temple of Jupiter" in right foreground on negative.
Box 1

2001.R.1-31 Arch of Hadrian, from the east

Physical Description: 32.3 x 25.6 cm., on paper mount 35.2 x 30 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, No 30"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-32 Lysikrates Monument, from the northwest

Physical Description: 31.8 x 25.7 cm., on paper mount 35.1 x 29.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The Lysikrates Monument, a choregic monument of 335/334 B.C., has remained visible throughout its history. In 1699 it was built into the Capuchin monastery and served as a library reading-room until the monastery was destroyed in the War for Independence. This photograph captures the monument shortly after it was freed from the rubble of the monastery in 1845. The damaged, but substantially intact monument stands in a small cleared area. In the late 1860s the area of the monument was further cleared and a small wall added in preparation for the visit of Empress Eugénie of France before the full restoration of the Lysikrates Monument in 1876.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, No 31"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-33 Gate of Athena Archegetis, from the southwest

Physical Description: 31.5 x 24.8 cm., on paper mount 34.6 x 28.7 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The Gate of Athena Archegetis, the western gateway of the Roman Agora, had been the only visible ancient structure in this area in the early nineteenth century and would remain so until the excavation of the Roman Agora in 1890. Differences in the patination on the right column and anta show where part of the gate had been built into the Church of the Sotira until the mid 1840s.
"Robertson"--signed in negative. "Also signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, No 32"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-34 Library of Hadrian, from the west

Physical Description: 31.1 x 25.7 cm., on paper mount 35.1 x 29.3 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Remnants of Turkish Athens are still visible in this photograph of the west facade of the Library of Hadrian, known in the nineteenth century as the Stoa of Hadrian. A partial view of the Tzisdaraki mosque occupies the left side of the photograph, and the foreground shows an array of market tables set up in front of the fenced-off facade of the Library. This area of Athens, which had housed the Turkish bazaar, continued to serve as a market area in the liberated city. At the time of this photograph, the Library of Hadrian served as a storage facility for antiquities.
"Signed 'Robertson' on back, No 33"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-35 Areopagus, from the southeast

Physical Description: 23.9 x 29.1 cm., on paper mount 27.7 x 34.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The city of Athens can be glimpsed behind the rock of the Areopagus in this photograph. Yet, what is remarkable is how little there is to see. At the right side of the frame, small, low buildings form the population nucleus north of the Acropolis, but a seemingly empty landscape stretches off toward Mount Hymettos in the distance.
"Signed 'Robertson' on back, No 34"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-36 Philopappos Monument

Physical Description: 28.6 x 25.2 cm., on paper mount 34 x 28.7 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Due to its prominent location on the Museion Hill, the Philopappos Monument has remained well-known since antiquity. The monument has changed little since having been mined for blocks in the medieval period, suffering relatively minor damage in the Turko-Venetian War and in the War of Independence. Robertson's photograph shows the graffiti-covered monument in generally the same state as a variety of early nineteenth century depictions. Having been excavated and consolidated by the Archaeological Service in 1898-1899, the Philopappos Monument appears substantially the same today.
"Robertson"--signed on print. "Also signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, (see unmounted Dup. unsigned), No 35"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-37 Philopappos Monument

Physical Description: 27.9 x 25.8 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Unmounted print of the image above.
"No. 35 by James Roberson (sic)"--annotation in pencil on verso of print.
Box 2

2001.R.1-38 Odeion of Herodes Attikos, from the southwest

Physical Description: 25.1 x 28.4 cm., on paper mount 28.4 x 34.2 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Only the upper stories poke out of the accumulated fill in this photograph of the Odeion of Herodes Attikos. The Greek Archaeological Society excavated the Odeion in the period from 1848-1858. Robertson's photograph reflects an early stage in this work. At the right of the photograph, the Turkish Serpentzes wall continues the southern line of the Odeion across the south slope of the Acropolis. The wall was finally demolished in 1876 as part of the excavation of the Asklepeion.
"No 36, signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-39 Gorgoepikoos

Physical Description: 25.7 x 29 cm., on paper mount 29.6 x 34.9 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The Church of the Panagia Gorgoepikoos, also known as the Little Metropolis, stands today adjacent to the Metropolis, the cathedral of Athens. Under construction sporadically in the period from 1842 to 1862, the Metropolis is just out of frame to the left, but it accounts for the various construction debris and piles of dirt visible in Robertson's photograph. This photograph also documents changes to the Gorgoepikoos church itself. A bell tower added in the Turkish period had been removed by the time of this photograph, returning the church to its original Byzantine form.
"No 37, signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-40 View of Athens with Palace and Acropolis, from Lycabettus

Physical Description: 24.9 x 29.1 cm., on paper mount 28.4 x 35 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Although the Acropolis hovers over the city in the background, the new buildings of Athens form the focus of this photograph. The Palace of King Otto, now the Greek Parliament building, built from 1836 to 1843 fills the center of the scene, with the newly planted Royal Garden, begun in 1837 and finished in 1862, spreading out behind it. The Palace was the first large-scale building project in the city after independence and its Neoclassical style set the standard for the architectural development of the city in the following decades. Also in the Neoclassical style and standing out from the smaller houses, the Dimitriou Mansion, built in 1842, occupies the right side of the photograph. Later converted to the Hotel Grande Bretagne, this house dominates the north side of Syntagma Square. In the foreground, the area of Kolonaki remains open fields.
"No 38, signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-41 View of Athens with the Acropolis and the Olympieion, from the southeast

Physical Description: 24.8 x 29.1 cm., on paper mount 28.5 x 35 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The old and the new Athens coexist in this view of the city and the Acropolis. The modernization and excavations of the 1840s have left their mark in the form of the large dumps spreading down the south slope of the Acropolis. The excavation of the Theater of Dionysos beginning in 1862 and the removal of the dumped earth in the mid 1870s would significantly alter the appearance of the south slope. Yet the city of Athens still retains its Ottoman outline in this view. The houses appear to remain within the lines of Haseki's Wall, which began to be demolished in 1834 in order to lay out the Boulevard of Queen Amalia. Also at the base of the Acropolis, the Serpentzes wall is visible following the line of the Odeon of Herodes Attikos and the Stoa of Eumenes.
"Signed 'Robertson' on back, No 39"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-42 View of the Hephaisteion, from the northwest, with the Acropolis in the background

Physical Description: 24.7 x 29.3 cm., on paper mount 29 x 33.8 cm.

Scope and Content Note

The composition of this photograph emphasizes the small size of Athens even in the mid 1850s. At this time, the city appears to be only a small cluster of houses sheltering at the base of the Acropolis, with the entire foreground of the photograph filled with plowed fields. The empty area of the Kolonos Agoraios had been a traditional gathering place for public festivities, but by the end of the century a public garden and general urban development will fill much of this area. But for now, the line of the wall of Haseki, built in 1778, is still clearly visible, running across the middle ground of the photograph just to the west of the Hephaisteion.
"Signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, No 40 (see unmounted & unsigned Dup.)"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-43 View of the Hephaisteion, from the northwest, with the Acropolis in the background

Physical Description: 23.9 x 30 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Unmounted print of the image above.
"No. 40 by James Robertson"--annotation in pencil on verso of print.
Box 2

Relief sculpture from the Nike balustrade

Scope and Content Note

The sculpture from the Nike balustrade, excavated in 1835, was stored inside the Temple of Athena Nike until it was moved to the Acropolis Museum in the mid 1870s.
Box 2

2001.R.1-44 Two Nikai leading an ox to sacrifice

Physical Description: 29.3 x 24.5 cm., on paper mount 34.2 x 28.4 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"Robertson"--signed on print. "Also signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, Titled in Pencil, No 41"--annotation in pencil on mount below image. "41 Alto Relievo in Temple of Victory"-- title in pencil on print.
Box 2

2001.R.1-45 Sandal binder

Physical Description: 23.6 x 16.2 cm., on paper mount 34.7 x 28.2 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"No 42, signed 'Robertson' on back, Titled in Pencil, No 41"--annotation in pencil on mount below image. "42 Alto Relievo in Temple of Victory"-- title in pencil on print.
Box 2

Relief sculpture from the Parthenon frieze

Scope and Content Note

The earliest archaeological work in Athens after the War of Independence focused on the Parthenon. In the years 1833-1836 slabs of the Parthenon frieze, thrown from the building in the 1687 explosion, were excavated and recovered from later structures. The following photographs are individual images of the ten slabs lined up along the north wall of the cella, which can be seen in Robertson's photograph of the interior of the Parthenon. These close-ups of the sculpture often show the reinforcing brickwork of the cella wall repairs in the background. This sculpture was moved to the Acropolis Museum in the mid 1870s. The numbering used here for the frieze slabs is that of the revised Jenkins/British Museum system. Where pertinent, the older Michaelis numbering is given in parentheses.
Box 2

2001.R.1-46 and 47 North X, elders and North XXXVI (XXXI), riders

Physical Description: 2 prints on single mount; 12.3 x 13.6 cm. and 11.9 x 14.1 cm., on paper mount 35 x 29.3 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"No. 43, signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below each image. "43"--annotation in pencil on upper print. "43. Frieze of the Parthenon"--annotation in pencil on lower print.
Box 2

2001.R.1-48 and 49 North XXXIV (XXIX), riders and North XIX, apobates

Physical Description: 2 prints on single mount; 12 x 13.8 cm. and 11.3 x 12.9 cm., on paper mount 34.5 x 28 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"4, No. 44, signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below each image. "Frieze of Parthenon 43 3"--annotation in pencil on upper print. "44 4"--annotation in pencil on lower print.
Box 2

2001.R.1-50 and 51 North XXIII (XVII), apobates and North IV, youths leading sheep

Physical Description: 2 prints on single mount; 11.4 x 12.7 cm. and 12.1 x 14 cm., on paper mount 34.7 x 28 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"5, No. 45, signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below upper image. "43 5"--annotation in pencil on upper print. "6, No. 45, signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below lower image."45 6"--annotation in pencil on lower print.
Box 2

2001.R.1-52 North VIII, lyre-players

Physical Description: 13.6 x 12.5 cm., on paper mount 18 x 28.7 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"7, No. 46, signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image. "46 7"--annotation in pencil on print.
Box 2

2001.R.1-53 North II, youths leading cattle

Physical Description: 11.9 x 14.5 cm., on paper mount 18 x 29 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"8, No. 46, signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image. "46 8"--annotation in pencil on print.
Box 2

2001.R.1-54 East VI, Poseidon, Apollo and Artemis

Physical Description: 12.9 x 14.5 cm., on paper mount 17.4 x 29 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"9, No. 47, signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image. "47 9"--annotation in pencil on print.
Box 2

2001.R.1-55 North VI, water-bearers

Physical Description: 13.5 x 14.3 cm., on paper mount 19.8 x 28.2 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"10, No. 47, signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image. "47 10"--annotation in pencil on print.
Box 2

Photographs of Sounion

Scope and Content Note

The remains of the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion had long served as inspiration for travelers and artists in Greece. The ruins perched on the promontory above the sea had become an iconic image of Greece and neighboring Athens. The condition of the ruins did not change appreciably during the nineteenth century until excavations began in 1870.
Box 2

2001.R.1-56 Temple of Poseidon, from the northeast

Physical Description: 25.3 x 30 cm., on paper mount 29.2 x 34.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"No 48, signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-57 Temple of Poseidon, from the northwest

Physical Description: 24.9 x 30 cm., on paper mount 28.6 x 34.7 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"Robertson"--signed in negative. "No 49, also signed 'Robertson' on back"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

Photographs of Corinth

Box 2

2001.R.1-58 Temple of Apollo, from the west

Physical Description: 24.8 x 30.7 cm., on paper mount 28.9 x 34.9 cm.

Scope and Content Note

In early the 1800s European travelers to Corinth documented that the seven remaining columns of Temple of Apollo had been incorporated into Turkish structures. Images and accounts from after the War of Independence, however, show these structures gone, presumably destroyed in the fighting. Robertson's photograph captures the unexcavated remains of the temple within the newly liberated Greek village. This situation would soon change. In 1858 a devastating earthquake led to the general abandonment of the village, and initial excavations at the temple began in 1886. The modern building at the far left of the photograph is most probably the so-called Capodistrias schoolhouse, covering a part of the northeastern end of the temple. The structure at the right of the photograph with the signboard over the door has possibly been identified as the former governor's house, then converted to a police station, or perhaps the "New Hotel of Great Britain."
"Signed 'Robertson Constant' on back, See unmounted & unsigned Dup, No 50 -- 1, N 1"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-59 Temple of Apollo, from the west

Physical Description: 24 x 30.4 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Unmounted print of the image above.
"No. 50 by James Roberson (sic)"--annotation in pencil on verso of print.
Box 2

2001.R.1-60 Temple of Apollo, from the south

Physical Description: 25.3 x 30.1 cm., on paper mount 29.3 x 35 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"Signed 'Robertson Constantinople' on back, No 51 - 2, N. 2"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

Photographs of Aegina

Scope and Content Note

The standing architectural remains of the Temple of Aphaia on the island of Aegina had long attracted travelers. Robertson's photographs record the temple's state of preservation after intervention in the early part of the century. In 1811 a party of artists and architects including C.R. Cockerell and Baron Haller von Hallerstein had begun digging around the ruins and unearthed the temple's pedimental sculpture, which was eventually sold to Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria.
Box 2

2001.R.1-61 Temple of Athena Aphaia, from the southeast

Physical Description: 25.5 x 30.8 cm., on paper mount 29.3 x 34.6 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"No 52 - 1, N. 1"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
Box 2

2001.R.1-62 Temple of Athena Aphaia, from the southwest

Physical Description: 26 x 31.4 cm., on paper mount 29.1 x 35 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"No 53 - 2, N. 3"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.
 

Series II.  Photographs of Constantinople and Egypt, circa 1853-1857, undated

Physical Description: 1.8 linear feet 1 box

Scope and Content Note

By the mid-nineteenth century, the eastern Mediterranean had grown to be an essential part of British economic and political strategy, and as such became an object of interest for the British public. The Ottoman Empire was now Britain's ally and presented an intriguing blend of East and West to the European viewer. Egypt also played a vital role in British access to India, while retaining its important historical associations.
James Robertson is best known for his images of Constantinople. The few photographs of Constantinople found in this collection are representative of his architectural studies of the city, capturing monuments dating from the Late Roman to the Ottoman periods.
The two photographs of Egypt stand out from the rest of the collection in both technique and details. These two prints, and the print of the Süleymaniye Mosque in Constantinople, are the only standard albumen prints in the collection. The photograph of the Sphinx is a late work, bearing the joint signature of Robertson and Beato. Although the Beato portion of the signature is cut off on this print, its presence is confirmed by other prints from the same negative. The thirteenth century Mamluk Mosque of Baybars in Cairo is a more obscure monument. This unsigned photograph is not otherwise attested in the work of Robertson or Felice Beato and may be by another photographer.
Box 3

Photographs of Constantinople, circa 1853-1857

Box 3

2001.R.1-63 Galata Tower and fortifications, circa 1853-1857

Physical Description: 30 x 25.8 cm., on paper mount 34.3 x 29.3 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"Robertson"--signed in negative.
Box 3

2001.R.1-64 Süleymaniye Mosque, circa 1857

Physical Description: 25.9 x 30.4 cm., on paper mount 29.8 x 36 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"Robertson & Beato photog."--signed in negative. "La Sulimanie"--annotation on print. "Cleaned & remounted 13/9/72 C. Cloney. The Great Mosque of Saint Sophia (sic), Constantinople, by Robertson & Beato c. 1857"--annotation on back of mount.
Box 3

2001.R.1-65 Hippodrome square with obelisks, circa 1853

Physical Description: 29.9 x 26.2 cm., on paper mount 34 x 28.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"Robertson"--signed in negative.
Box 3

2001.R.1-66 Fountain of Ahmed III, circa 1853

Physical Description: 24.4 x 29.5 cm., on paper mount 29 x 33.6 cm.
Box 3

2001.R.1-67 Landing and Kiliç Ali Pasha Mosque, circa 1853-1857

Physical Description: 29.9 x 26.2 cm., on paper mount 34 x 28.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"Robertson"--signed in negative.
Box 3

Photographs of Egypt, circa 1857, undated

Box 3

2001.R.1-68 Sphinx, circa 1857

Physical Description: 23.1 x 30.8 cm., on paper mount 25 x 31.9 cm.

Scope and Content Note

This photograph's mount bears the date "1862." Presumably this annotation refers to an acquisition date in this print's history. The negative would have been taken during Robertson and Beato's trip to Egypt in 1857.
"Robertson & [ ]"--inscribed in negative. "Robertson & ?? Probably Beato"--annotation in ink and pencil on mount below image. "1862"-- annotation in ink on mount below image.
Box 3

2001.R.1-69 Northeast gate of Sultan al-Zahir Baybars Mosque, undated

Physical Description: 26.4 x 20.2 cm., on mount 29.1 x 22.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

"Abbasseyeh Gate. Cairo"--annotation in pencil on mount below image.