BONFILS

Photographs from the Levant taken by the Bonfils Family of photographers between 1867 and 1912. Many of the pictures are marked either A. Bonfils, Collection des vues d'Orient, A. Bonfils, Beyrouth, Syrie. or A. Bonfils, Collection des vues d'Orient, A. Guiragossian, Successeur de L. Bonfils, Beyrouth, Syrie. The "L" was Lydie Bonfils, mother of "A" Adrien Bonfils. It was Adrien who embarked on he ambitious project of photographing all of that Levant he saw being transformed by railways, roads and tourism. And it was Lydie, who on leaving the business to Guiragossian, swore never to touch an egg again in her life. Eggs, in vast numbers, were one of the main ingredients in their glass plate based photographic business aimed at the tourist industry of the time.

Photographs from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Egypt.
(57 pictures from the late 1800's)

The Bonfils Story
(from the Aramco World, Nov-Dec 1983)

Bonfils photographs are neither particularly rare or expensive. There are several extensive collections, public and private and Bonfils prints may be found at antiquarian booksellers quite often. They are however of great value in their documentation of everyday life and the culture of the Levant at the close of the 19th century.

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