Beirut, with the Encampment in the Foreground
Presented here is one of 30 views of Syria and Lebanon in Bedford's Photographic Pictures: Syria, taken by the English photographer Francis Bedford (1816–1894) in the spring of 1862, when he accompanied Albert Edward, Prince of Wales and future King Edward VII (1841–1910; reigned 1901–10) on his voyage to the Mediterranean, Egypt, the Holy Land, and Syria. Included in the album are views of Damascus and the ruins at Baalbek in Syria and scenes in Tripoli and Beirut in Lebanon. Bedford was trained as an artist and worked as a lithographer before turning to photography in 1853. In January 1854, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought examples of his work at the first annual exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society. The royal couple subsequently commissioned Bedford to photograph works of art from the Royal Collection, and the queen commissioned him to travel to Germany to photograph scenes associated with her husband's childhood in Coburg. On the trip with the royal party to the Mediterranean and the Middle East in 1862, Bedford took more than 200 negatives. Bedford was the first, and most likely the only, official photographer to accompany a British royal tour in the 19th century. A selection of his photographs from the trip later was shown in London at the German Gallery, Bond Street, and published in a series of albums by Day & Son.
Title in Original Language
Beirut, with the encampment in the foreground
Type of Item
1 photograph : black-and-white, albumen ; 23.5 x 28.3 centimeters
- Roger Taylor, “Bedford, Francis (1815–1894),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).
- Sophie Gordon and Badr El Hage, Cities, Citadels, and Sights of the Near East: Francis Bedford’s Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Egypt, the Levant, and Constantinople (Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2014).
Last updated: December 20, 2017