The Museum of the Costas and Rita Severis Foundation, Centre of Visual Arts and Research, is delighted and proud to announce its latest acquisition: The personal photographic archive of the French Archaeologist and Art Historian Camille Enlart.
We believe that the Enlart archive is perhaps the most important archive on Medieval Cyprus, portraying the monuments, topography and scenes of everyday life on the island in 1896-1911. Based on the findings of his visits, Camille Enlart wrote the famous book L’ Art Gothique et la Renaissance en Chypre (1899) which was translated into English by Sir David Hunt, The Gothic Art and the Renaissance in Cyprus, in (1987).
The archive was assembled during Enlart’s missions to Cyprus in 1896 and 1901 and consists of 543 photographs, of which 470 photographs are signed, mounted on strong paper, and bear hand-written inscription by Enlart himself on the reverse. Another 45 photographs were given to Enlart by friends and colleagues such as
Captain Young, Tano, Luigi Balthassarre, Bellamy, Berthaud and Count Jean de Kergorlay. In the collection are also another 28 unsigned photographs. All photos are in albums of the period with half-vellum corners.
The archive unfolds a panorama of Medieval Cyprus, with illustrations of monuments, many of which were destroyed during the twentieth century. These photographs remain the only visual testimony of them. Furthermore there are scenes of everyday life in the cities and villages of Cyprus of 1896 as for example the bazaar of Nicosia, the fair of St Barnabas, the thyme sellers etc.
The archive was bought at auction in France recently. The acquisition has been made possible with the generous support of friends from abroad and locally: The grandson of the great man, Mr Christian Enlart, believed that this archive should return to Cyprus and to the Centre of Visual Arts and Research, Ms Ayla Gurel, Dr Marios Sarris, and others who wish to remain anonymous. The Centre of Visual Arts and Research is proud to have such supporters and is very grateful and thankful to them.