The Colossi of Memnon at Thebes inscribed 'Thebes' and dated 'March 1874' (lower left); bears gallery stamp (lower right) watercolour heightened with white 12.7 x 19 cm. (5 x 7½ in.)
The so-called colossi of Memnon are in fact seated statues of Amenophis III (1390-1352 BC), originally situated in front of the entrance pylons of his vast mortuary temple, of which they are now virtually all that remains. Each colossus was carved from a single block of quartzite and originally, with its pedestal and crown, measured over 21 metres in height.
Unusually, this temple was situated on what is now fertile land, as Bridgman's watercolour shows. Another temple, that of Ramesses II (the Ramesseum), is visible to the right, where the desert rises towards the cliffs behind which lies the Valley of the Kings. El-Qurn (the horn), a natural rock pyramid which dominates that valley, is seen to the left.