Logo of Basel Historical Museum
Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht
Painting and Graphic Art

Portrait of Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, called Sheik Ibrahim

Key data

Sebastian Gutzwiller, Basle, ca. 1830

Oil on canvas

105.5 x 89 cm

Inv. 1947.221.


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.

Selection of similar objects


Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

Sign up for our newsletter
Logo: FacebookLogo: InstagramLogo: TwitterLogo: YouTube
Logo: Culture inclusive
Open today from 10 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM