Offered by Jean Moust
Johann Jakob (Giovanni Giacomo) Frey
Basel 1813 – 1865 Frascati
The island of Philae in Upper Egypt with the ship of the Prussian expedition
of Karl Richard Lepsius moored in front of it
Oil on canvas : 55,7 X 81,7 cm
Unsigned, circa 1848
Frame : 69,5 X 94,8 cm
Johann Jakob Frey was a Swiss painter who, after a short spell in Paris and in Munich, was active in Rome. Thanks to his participation to the famous expedition of Karl Richard Lepsius that left in 1842 to Egypt, Nubia and a part of Sudan he could specialise as an Orientalist painter. He also painted beautiful Italian views.
Our painting represents the famous island of Philae with its antique Ptolemaic and Roman monuments, situated just S. of Aswan. Frey himself did not travel that far into Egypt, but thanks to his knowledge of the
country, its light and nature he was able to create a convincing atmosphere.
The ship moored in front of the island belongs to the important expedition led by Lepsius. It flies the German flag, a flag that came to the fore for the first time in 1848. The painting must therefore most probably date from that year.