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Panorama: al-haram almakki wa-ma hawluhu (The Meccan Sanctuary and Its Environs)

Image credit: The Khalili Collections

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Muhammad Sadiq Bey 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 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 recognised by both the Arab and European world and in 1881 he won a gold medal at the Venice Geographical Exhibition.

The Khalili Collections

London

Title

Panorama: al-haram almakki wa-ma hawluhu (The Meccan Sanctuary and Its Environs)

Date

1297 AH (1880)

Accession number

ARTUK_1

Work type

Photograph

Signature/marks description

signed: Sadic Bey, and in Arabic, Sadiq bayk

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The Khalili Collections

London, Greater London England

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