Aerial Panoramic View of Beirut


This image by the firm of Maison Bonfils depicts the city of Beirut, Lebanon, sometime in the last third of the 19th century. Maison Bonfils was the extraordinarily prolific venture of the French photographer Félix Bonfils (1831-85), his wife Marie-Lydie Cabanis Bonfils (1837-1918), and their son, Adrien Bonfils (1861-1928). The Bonfils moved to Beirut in 1867 and, over the next five decades, their firm produced one of the world's most important bodies of photographic work about the Middle East. Maison Bonfils was known for landscape photographs, panoramas, biblical scenes, and posed “ethnographic” portraits. The family’s marketing acumen and commercial sense helped make their photographs known around the world. “Panoramic” photographs employ a variety of techniques to create a wide angle of view. This “panoramic view” is comprised of two aerial photographs set together to give the viewer a broader image than would have been practical with a single photograph.


Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Aerial Panoramic View of Beirut. Bonfils.

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

2 photographic prints: albumen

Last updated: January 8, 2018