Saturday, February 05, 2011

New Book: Gardens of Sand

Arab News (Lisa Kaaki)

The evocative title, “Gardens of Sand” by Issam Nassar, Patricia Almarcegui, and Clark Worswick lures us to the heart of the Orient with a collection of rare 19th-century photographs of Egypt, Arabia, Turkey and the Levant.

The passage of time hardly shows on many photographs. An idyllic sunset on the Nile exudes a perennial serenity and a pristine beauty, which endures to this day. This landscape, awesome by its poetic realism, reflects its distinct artistic quality intended by the photographers Lehnert & Landrock: Rudolf Franz Lehnert (1878-1948) and Ernst Heinrich Landrock (1878-1966).

The photographs of Cairo, taken between 1868-1869, by Frank Mason Good are also remarkable. Good journeyed across the Middle East from the age of 27 over a nine-year period. His photographs are considered among the most distinguished collections of views executed in the region during the 19th century. The “House with Mashrabiyas” (a screened window overlooking the street), and “Cairo Street” both taken between 1868 and 1869, are striking by their atmospheric realism and their contemporaneousness.

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