Anna Richards Brewster (aka Anna Brewster)
Columns at Philae, Egypt
North America, American, Pennsylvania
25 1/8 in. x 13 1/16 in. (63.82 cm x 33.18 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Gift of the Estate of James L. Whitehead and Elliott P. Ellis
"Columns at Philae, Egypt", depicts a temple colonnade on Philae, an island in the Nile River in southern Egypt. The temple was most likely devoted to the goddess Isis, since in ancient times Philae was dedicated to her worship. Brewster concentrated her attention on the structure’s monumentality, while also capturing the antique images and inscriptions that embellish the stone columns. When Brewster and her husband visited in 1912, Philae was known to be in jeopardy. It had been flooded in 1902 by a reservoir created when the Aswan Dam was built across the Nile, and a technical examination in 1907 revealed the deterioration of the architectural decoration. The place Brewster painted no longer exists as she saw it. Eventually the temples were removed to higher ground nearby and reopened in 1980.
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2006, cat. no. 49, p. 130.