Arab Art as Seen Through the Monuments of Cairo: From the Seventh Century to the End of the 18th


L'art arabe d'après les monuments du Kaire: depuis le VIIe siècle jusqu'à la fin du XVIIIe (Arab art as seen through the monuments of Cairo: From the seventh century to the end of the 18th) is an immense, sumptuously produced work that illustrates the richness of Islamic art and architecture as seen in the streets, buildings, monuments, decorative arts, and books and manuscripts of the city of Cairo. It was produced by Achille-Constant-Théodore-Émile Prisse d’Avennes, who is said to have supervised the printing of the work as well as that of his other masterpiece, a luxurious atlas of ancient Egyptian art. The work contains a total of 200 full-page plates in three volumes; each volume has its own table of contents. The illustrations have spare captions, but the book contains no explanatory text. The illustrations for the most part were produced by chromolithography, a 19th-century technique that could be used to reproduce images in multiple colors. Prisse d’Avennes was born in France in 1807. He traveled widely in Egypt and North Africa. After his conversion to Islam he was known as Idris, or Edris, Effendi. He made early and important contributions to the field of Egyptology and Oriental studies in general, but much about his origins and background remains unknown. In the course of a long and adventurous life, he was a military instructor, architect of irrigation systems, soldier in the Greek fight for independence in the 1820s, Muslim convert and associate of Egypt’s rulers, as well as an editor of scholarly journals and member of learned societies. His role as a founding father of the science of Egyptology is rarely recognized, perhaps because he instigated the removal of antiquities from Egypt to France.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

V. A. Morel and Company, Paris


Title in Original Language

L'art arabe d'après les monuments du Kaire : depuis le VIIe siècle jusqu'à la fin du XVIIIe

Type of Item

Physical Description

4 volumes ; 56 x 44 centimeters


  1. Carre, Jean-Marie, Voyageurs et ecrivains français en Egypte (French travellers and writers in Egypt). (Cairo: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 1956).

Last updated: April 9, 2015