Bildnis des Johann Ludwig Burckhardt genannt Scheik Ibrahim

Portrait of Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, called Sheik Ibrahim

Sebastian Gutzwiller, Basle, ca. 1830
Oil on canvas
105.5 x 89 cm
Inv. 1947.221.

3537px x 4189px
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The sitter, in oriental dress, was a member of the well known Basle family of scholars. As the son of the builder of the Haus zum Kirschgarten he has a special relationship to the Museum building. Under the name Sheik Ibrahim, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (1784-1817) travelled on behalf of the London African Society in Syria, Egypt and Nubia. He discovered the temple of Abu Simbel and the Jordanian rock cut city of Petra. His accounts of his travels in the Middle East were published from 1819. He died of food poisoning aged 33 and is buried in Cairo. The posthumous honour bestowed on him in 1992, when the Queen of Jordan conferred an order on him, has recently drawn attention to his achievements in the land where he made his discoveries.

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