The Vocal Memnon

This is one of a pair of statues, known as the Colossi of Memnon. The ‘colossi’ are two statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, standing about 18 m (60 ft) high. They are all that remain of a large mortuary temple to Amenhotep, originally serving as guardians to the entrance of the temple. During the Roman period, one of the statues was believed to ‘sing’ at dawn and thus was linked to the legendary figure of Memnon. As the son of Eos the dawn, he was believed to greet her each morning with a sigh. The photograph is signed, captioned and dated in the negative, ‘F Bedford Thebes’. 

Object Details

The Vocal Memnon


Francis Bedford




Albumen print, mounted on card


29.0 x 23.7 cm

Acquired by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), 1862