" the pencil is proved to be treacherous and deceptive"
Four views of the mosques and other objects of interest occupying the site of the Temple at Jerusalem.
Drawn and lithographed from photographs taken by The Rev. A.A. Isaacs, M.A. of Corpus Christi, Cambridge. By special permission of the Pasha of Jerusalem... No views of these structures have ever been obtained or published before. London printed and published by Day & Son, Lithographers to the Queen 1 December, 1857
Four tinted lithographs, each image 22 x 30 cm, on sheets measuring 34 x 50 cm. Loose as issued in original printed wrappers. Wrappers chipped and soiled, spine partially split. Marginal fraying, some spotting, and a few light stains to plates, but images largely unaffected.
We locate two copies only, at Glasgow and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Fine views of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock (here described as the Great Mosque of Sakara), drawn and lithographed after photographs taken by the amateur photographer Reverend Albert Augustus Isaacs (1826-1903) during his tour of the Holy Land in 1856-7, which he described in his The Dead Sea, or, Notes and observations made during a journey to Palestine in 1856-7, on M. de Saulcy's supposed discovery of the cities of the plain (London, 1857). He undertook the trip to refute the archaeological discoveries claimed by Louis de Saulcy in his 1853 Voyage autour de la Mer Morte, and explicitly cites the evidentiary value of photography in the preface to The Dead Sea, "We well know how often the pencil is proved to be treacherous and deceptive; while on the other hand the facsimile of the scene must be given by the aid of the photograph." Albert Isaacs was one of a small number of amateur photographers active in the Middle East prior to 1860. He worked largely with waxed-paper negatives: his original photographs are very rare; we have been unable to trace the photographs from which these lithographs were produced. Isaacs was not the first to photograph these two mosques contrary to the claims in the portfolio's title. Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804-1892) travelled widely in the Middle East in the early 1840s, and produced a number of daguerreotypes of Jerusalem. Isaac's lithographs remain important depictions of two of Jerusalem's principal sites and evidence of an early amateur photographer's work in the city.