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Description de L'Egypte (Taschen 25th Anniversary Series) [Paperback]

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Item description for Description de L'Egypte (Taschen 25th Anniversary Series) by Gilles Neret...

In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte launched an expedition of 35,000 soldiers to conquer Egypt. Napoleon's ships also carried some 500 scholars, scientists and artists whose task it was to study the country and its customs. This volume recreates two major themes of their resultant work: "Antiquites", including the Rosetta stone, and "Etat Moderne".

Publishers Description
In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte launched an expedition of 35,000 soldiers to conquer Egypt. The campaign was a military and political disaster but nonetheless it had a profound and lasting impact, by revealing the splendour of a mysterious and forgotten civilization. For Napoleon's ships also carried some 500 scholars, scientists and artists whose task it was to study the country and its customs. Traversing a country at war under the stifling heat of southern Egypt, they embarked on the first major study of a land then all but unknown to Europeans. They discovered the Valley of the Kings outside Thebes. They found the Rosetta stone which when deciphered enabled scholars to read hieroglyphics. And their combined efforts culminated in what is surely one of the most ambitiously comprehensive work ever published: the Description de I'Egypte in 10 volumes with 837 copperplate engravings and more than 3,000 drawings. It was as though they were cataloguing the world's richest museum covering three major themes with their work: "Antiqutes," "Etat Moderne" and "Histoire Naturelle," the first two of which are reproduced fully in this special edition.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   751
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2007
Publisher   Taschen
ISBN  382283775X  
ISBN13  9783822837757  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Foreign Language Books > French > All French Books
2Books > Foreign Language Books > French > Arts & Photography
3Books > Foreign Language Books > French > History
4Books > Foreign Language Books > French > Nonfiction
5Books > Foreign Language Books > Japanese > Arts & Photography
6Books > Foreign Language Books > Japanese > History
7Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > General
8Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Schools, Periods & Styles > Ancient & Classical
9Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Egypt > General
10Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > Egypt
11Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Egypt

Reviews - What do customers think about Description de L'Egypte (Taschen 25th Anniversary Series)?

Good bargain  Apr 6, 2008
This is not a scholarly work, but is very useful for 1) graphic designers who need some exotic inspiration from time to time; 2) fans of ancient Egyptian who have read a great deal but failed to visualize what they've read. Its size allows you to bring it around; and the price is surprisingly low. All these make buying it an easy decision.
Description of Egypt  Feb 28, 2008
A nice picture book but does not provide everything from the original volumes. It has very little text and not all of the pictures are provided.
Useful adjunct to any history of Egypt  Mar 22, 2006
The Description de l'Egypte is a reproduction of the Napoleonic Egyptian Expedition's work. The book consists only of plates (with a very brief 3 page introduction) most of which are in black and white although a few are in colour. It contains sections on antiquities, contemporary Egypt (at the time of the expedition), as well as sections on flora, fauna and mineralogy.

There is no commentary on the plates and they are presented without any explanation of their ordering. This can be disorienting at first but one quickly comes to realize that, for each location, plates describing general details come first and are followed by plates with progressively greater detail. For example, a description of the Isle de Philae begins with a map showing its location, a more detailed map of the island, then several views of the island from different angles and then architectural drawings of the temples on the island. It ends with details of the temple carvings and hieroglyphics.

This book serves as a magnificent addendum to almost any Egyptian history text, providing great depth and detail of illustration of most of the major sites in Egypt. Even illustrated texts (ie. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt) do not approach the same level of visual detail as the Description.

There are two quibbles about the book's format that lead me to give the book 4 stars instead of 5. The first is that the book is too small. It is a paperback with 1008 pages, and not a very large paperback at that. This book would have been truly great (albeit much more expensive) if it had been a full-size hardcover. The second detail is that the plate captions are untranslated. This may be a concern to you if you do not speak French.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Egyptian history or archeology. It might also be an interesting tool for those interested in architecture or design, given its attention to fine details of early Egyptian constructions.
The birth of Egyptology  Sep 25, 2005
This is almost entirely a book of illustrations, with a few in color. The brief introductory text section is given in French, English and German. Most of the illustrations are not captioned, those that do have captions are only in French. Napoleon's expedition to Egypt at the end of the 18th century was a military and political fiasco. However, it did give birth to Egyptology. 500 civilians accompanied Napoleon's army, among them a group of 167 scholars in various fields. Among the many incredible discoveries made by Napoleon's group was the Valley of the Kings and the Rosetta Stone. This volume presents thousands of drawings made by this group of scholars. About half the book is devoted to detailed drawings of archaeological finds; the other half to "Etat Moderne" -- the Egyptian people, contemporary (about 1799-1800) architecture and scenery, tools, dress, the fishes of the Nile, reptiles, insects, plant life, rocks and minerals, and more. The section on birds is in color. Detailed maps drawn by the expedition members are included as well. This was an incredible achievement, especially when you consider the conditions under which these young people were working -- traversing a country at war under the stifling heat of southern Egypt, always with the sense that time was short. The French troops had been abandoned by Napoleon (who had returned to France), deprived of munitions and decimated by dysentery and epidemics; they were easy prey for the English and Turks. The members of the Commission of Science and Art were told to hand over their work to the English; they stubbornly threatened to burn their work rather than do so. Finally the English allowed the writings through and confiscated the objects, including the Rosetta Stone. In 1802, Napoleon ordered the Imperial Press to begin publication of the cultural and scientific spoils of the Egyptian expedition. 400 copper engravers worked for some twenty years. The original publication comprised ten folio volumes and two anthologies, and contained 837 copper engravings and more than 3000 illustrations in total.
Plates of French 1798 expedition to Egypt  Jan 12, 2003
Complete copy of the plates from the French Expedition to Egypt in 1798. Quality of plates is surprisingly good considering the small size of the book in comparison to the originals. Excellent purchase for anyone interested in the expedition or for someone who is buying the plates individually. I would give it five stars except for the size.

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