Excavation and discovery of the casing stones of the Great Pyramid at Gizeh

Excavation and discovery of the casing stones of the Great Pyramid at Gizeh

FRANCIS VYVYAN JAGO ARUNDALE (1807-1853)

Excavation and discovery of the casing stones of the Great Pyramid at Gizeh, May 12th, 1837
bears partial gallery label (verso)
watercolour heightened with bodycolour on J. Whatman Turkey Mill, 1838
52 x 41 cm (20 1/2 x 16 1/8 in).

PROVENANCE:
with Spink & Son, Ltd.

EXHIBITED:
London, Royal Academy, 1839, No. 801 ‘Excavation and discovery of the casing stones of the Great Pyramid at Gizeh, May 12th 1837, from a sketch by Andrews’

ENGRAVED
Howard-Vyse, Operations Carried on at the Pyramids of Gizeh (London, 1840-42), frontispiece.


In 1837, following seven months of work and at the expense of a large fortune, Major-General Sir Richard William Howard Vyse (1784-1853), with his team of a hundred assistants, re-opened the forced entry to the Great Pyramid at Gizeh, made originally by Al Mamoun early in the ninth century AD. He also rediscovered the corner-sockets previously uncovered by the French in 1799. When Vyse decided to clear away some debris by the pyramid, he discovered two of the original polished limestone casing stones.
George Henry Andrews (1816-98) accompanied Howard Vyse to Egypt and served as an engineer and illustrator. Arundale prepared many of the illustrations for Howard-Vyse’s three-volume Operations Carried on at the Pyramids of Gizeh (London, 1840-42), based on his excavation at Gizeh between 1835 and 1837.
Arundale was already familiar with the area: in 1832, he had joined Robert Hay as a member of the Egyptologist’s team of artists and architects during his second recording expedition to Egypt (1829-34). He made numerous sketches and drawings on that trip, many of which are now in the British Museum.

Egypt