I had looked forward with great anticipation to the arrival of this book - and I am not at all disappointed. In the past few years a few books have been published which have delighted my eyes, Tutankhamun, by T.G.H. James, and Egyptian Treasures from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and now the present work. They share in common the photographer - Araldo De Luca.
De Luca is a consumate artist of light. Throughout this book you will see exquisite shots, described and formed by the light of Egypt - Medinet Habu at dawn, The Temples of Hatshepsut and Mentuhotep, from the air in the dawn light, at the precise moment that the entire Valley of the Kings lies in shadows between golden cliffs behind. There are more - photographs of objects and buildings that I have never seen, or at least not so clearly. De Luca has found the perfect vantage point for every shot, it seems, and has waited for the light to lift the ordinary into statement, explanation rather than simple recording.
Sprinkled through the various essays - and each essay written by a distinguished expert in their field - are delightful drawings, diagrams and maps. We have sumptuous renderings of the interior of Tutankhamon's tomb, which are not so uncommon, but this volume goes on to show us drawings of the interior of Nefertari's tomb, and there's more! The tombs of the Nobles are pictured with the same fine sensitivity as well as the mortuary temples of the west bank.
The essays take a back seat, at first glance, so truly wonderful are the photographs, but here you will find rich descriptions and explanations of the monuments and the objects found within them. Kent Weeks is the general editor; there is an introduction by Her Excellency Mrs. Suzanne Mubarek; Rita Freed, Melinda K. Hartwig, Erik Hornung, Christian Leblanc ... the list of eminent persons goes on.
Congratulations to the publishers, Friedman/Fairfax, and to all those who produced this wonderful book, from type-setters to press persons. This is a treasure! Thank you! L.P.H.!!