The Italian explorer Giovanni Belzoni (1778-1823) remains one of the giants of 19th century Egypt exploration. His rediscovery of Pharaoh Sety I's tomb in 1817 was deemed as one of the biggest and most important of its time. 'Belzoni's Tomb', as it was otherwise known, captivated the western world.
One of Belzoni's lasting legacies was the documentation of Sety I's tomb through a detailed watercolour study. Some were by Belzoni himself, most were by his assistant Alessandro Ricci. The paintings were used to produce a scale model of the tomb, exhibited in London in 1821.
The watercolours have been in Bristol Museums and Art Gallery's collection since 1900. There are over 300, plus a sketchbook, objects inscribed with Belzoni's name, paper squeezes, his wife's notebook, and an exhibition poster.