John Beasley Greene (American, born in France, 1832-1856)
El-Kantara Bridge, Constantine, Algeria, 1855-1856
Lightly coated salt print from a paper negative
23.5 x 29.4 cm
From 1855-1856, Greene produced a series of images of Constantine, an ancient city dramatically perched on a mountaintop in Algeria, the last he made before his death at the early age of 24. In the light of North Africa, Greene doesn’t exactly represent places, even when he records houses, ruined aqueducts, roads, bridges or burial sites, he creates tonal maps. This late work is about feeling. In Constantine, dwellings on a mountain seem to be outcroppings of the rocks themselves. Young Greene was close to dying; he wanted his pictures to look like how he felt.