Caravan passing the Colossi of Memnon, Thebes

The present work, painted in 1856, is a study for a larger version of the same subject, dated 1857, in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, which also has a preparatory drawing for the oils in its collection.

The Colossi of Memnon are two enormous twin sculptures flanking the mortuary temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned from 1386 to 1349 BC, on the plain of Thebes on Luxor’s west bank. The name of the monument derives from the legendary Ethiopian King Memnon, who led an army from Africa into Asia Minor during the Trojan War against the Greeks, but was ultimately killed by Achilles.

Object Details

Caravan passing the Colossi of Memnon, Thebes

Jean-Leon Gerome



oil on canvas

65 x 81 cm. (25.6 x 31.9 in.)