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. 


The Museum of the Costas & Rita Severis Foundation, Centre of Visual Arts and Research is happy and proud to announce its latest acquisition: The personal photographic archive of the French Archaeologist and Art Historian Camille Enlart.

The acquisition of the Archive at auction in France was made possible by the generous support of friends and supporters of the Museum both from Cyprus and from abroad: Mr. Christian Enlart, grandson of Camille Enlart, who believed that his grandfather’s archive should end up in Cyprus and in particular to the Centre of Visula Art and Research as well as Mrs.Ayla Gurel and Dr. Marios Sarris and others who would prefer to remain anonymous. The Centre of Visual Arts and Research is proud to have such supporters to which it expresses its warmest thanks. These donations had encouraged us to participate in the auction.

The Enlart photographic Archive is the most significant collection on Medieval Cyprus with its depictions of  monuments, topography and scenes of everyday life covering  the period 1896 to 1911. The result of Camille Enlart’s visit to Cyprus in 1896 was  his book “L’ Art Gothique et la Renaissance en Chypre” (1899) which was translated into English by Sir David Hunt, “Gothic Art and the Renaissance in Cyprus” (Trigraph publications1987).

Historian, archaeologist and member of the Institute, Camille Enlart (1862-1927) studied at the École des Chartres from where he graduated. He taught Medieval Archaeology at the École Speciale d’ Architecture and at the École du Louvre and was Director of the Sculpture Museum at the Trocadero in Paris. He practiced photography in particular during his trips to Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, Syria and in Cyprus where he studied the blossoming of the Gothic art outside France. During his principal missions in Cyprus in 1896 and 1901 he brought back to France items bought or excavated on the island. His collections (sculptures, paintings, pottery, photographs) are today preserved, in most part, in Boulogne- sur –Mere, his native city.


According to Nicola Coldstream, Enlart’s scholarship and expertise were universally admired, but what shines as brightly from the words of his friends after his death, is his generous and affectionate nature. With his books, his most appropriate epitaph may perhaps be the remark he made to his friend and colleague Paul Deschamps:

“What I appreciate the most in this world is work and friendship”. We can no longer enjoy his friendship but the fruit of his scholarship is with us forever.” (Nicola Coldstream in Gothic Art and the Renaissance in Cyprus, ed. by Sir David Hunt 1987)

Conquered during the Third Crusade, the island of Cyprus was sold in 1192 to Guy de Lusignan to compensate for his eviction from the throne of Jerusalem. For almost three centuries Cyprus was thus a Latin kingdom governed by the House of Lusignan originating from Poitou. During this period, the royal administration, the ecclesiastical power, the barons and the rich merchants installed on the island, multiplied the construction of palaces, castles, fortifications, churches and mansions. Of great strategic and financial importance, the island passed in 1489 under Venetian domination and then in 1571 under Ottoman occupation. This period lasted until 1878 when the Sultan gave Great Britain the right to occupy and administer the island which remained however under Ottoman sovereignty. 

After his mission in Cyprus, Camille Enlart got in touch with the British civil servants who helped him in his journeys through the island and who suppled him with photographs like Captain Young and Mavrocordato, chief of Police in Paphos. On the other hand another Mavrocordato was civil servant in Nicosia (source: see Enlart, L’ Art Gothique et la Renaissance en Chypre, I, 1899, p. xxiii). He also befriended a Cypriot antiquarian by the name of Tano, as well as Count Jean de Kergorlay (1860-1923), an officer of the Dragons who had left the army to devote himself to history and archaeology visiting in particular Egypt, Palestine, Asia Minor, Cyprus and Rhodes.


Medieval Monuments of Cyprus: A collection of 470 photographs, signed, mounted on strong paper, bearing hand-written inscription by Enlart himself on the reverse. Including 45 other photos taken by various photographers and 28 not signed, altogether 543 photographs. Most of these photographs are in carton folders of the period, with half-vellum corners.


The photographs measure 17x12cm and are mounted on cardboard of 21x16 cm. They are signed “Enlart” on the lower right and include hand-written inscriptions on the reverse as well as the word “Enlart ph”. This collection includes 45 photographs taken at the same time by various photographers who were friends of Camille Enlart: Mavrocordato (24),Bellamy (4), Berthaud (4), Tano (4), Luigi Baldassarre (3), Captain Young (3), Emil Deschamps (2), Jean de Kergorlay (1). Included are five postcards and two print reproductions.

Folders 1-3 contain 69 photographs by Camille Enlart plus 3 of Balthassarre, 4 de Bellamy, 1 du Captain Young and 2 unsigned relating to different localities in Cyprus. In alphabetical order, amongst the photographs are: Acheropiitos (6 photos of different parts of the monastery and of jewellery found in the tombs in 1901); Acrotiri or Cape Gatta, (2 photos of the Monastery of St Nicolas). Archangelos,(3 photos of the church), Avgasida (4 photos of the monastery) Cape St Andreas (3 photos of the lower chapel), Kiti or Le Quid (4 photos representing the tower, the chapel of the manor and the bridge), Klepini (4 photos of the church of which one of a painted mural). Dali (2 photos of the church of St Mamas), Deftera (1 photo of the church dug into the rock), Ayia Napa (4 photos of the monastery) Lapithos (2 photos of the manor plus 4 by Bellamy representing objects found in 1902), Limassol (4 photos showing the castle and inscriptions found in the town). Mountain of the Holy Cross (2 photos of the Abbey and of the Monastery of Santa Barbara). Morphou or Le Morf (8 photos of the monastery as well as the tomb of St Mamas), St Heraclidios (3 photos of which one of the cloisters) etc.

The fourth folder is dedicated to the castle of Kyrenia and consists of 31 photographs by Camille Enlart plus 2 of Mavrocordato and 2 unsigned. We can see all the details of the ancient crusader castle and the enclosure, the archway, observatory, north battlements, dungeon, entrance, halls of the castle, detail of the balcony, courtyard and the Byzantine chapel. 

Folders 5-8 refer to Famagusta and consist of 160 photographs by Camille Enlart, 3 by Mavrocordato, 2 by Captain Young and 6 unsigned: views of the town, interior and main hall of the castle, fragments of architecture preserved in the palace, the Twin Churches, the church assumed to be of the Hospitallers, St Francis church, with the tombs of Jacme Olevier and of Bernardo Prioli. Church of the Syrian Nestorian, church of St Anna known as St George Exiler,(sic) the Carmelite church with its acoustic tiles, church of St George of the Latins, Church of St George of the Greeks, church of St Peter and St Paul, Church said to be of the Maronites, Armenian church, Cathedral of St Nicolas (171 photos).

The 9th folder is entirely dedicated to the ancient royal abbey of Lapais. It consists of 41 photographs by Camille Enlart, 4 by Berthaud, 3 by Mavrocordato, 1 by Jean de Kergorlay, and 4 unsigned: Facades, corners, main gates, cloisters and galleries, refectory, main hall, porch of the abbey’s church, treasury, silver cross, plates of brasswork, etc. The 4 photos signed by Berthaud illustrate the rubbings made by Edmond Duthoit in 1865 under the direction of Marquis de Vogüe.


The following three folders (10-12) are devoted to Nicosia: they consist of 115 photographs by Camille Enlart, 4 by Tano, 3 by Balthassarre, 2 by Dechamps, 2 by Mavrocordado and 8 unsigned. We see the monastery of St Francis and different parts uncovered by the excavations of 1901: Tomb in the main hall, the pulpit and capitals of the cloisters, pavement of the nave etc. We also see church of St Nicolas (12 photos), Notre Dame de Tyre (9 photos), Tripiotis (3 photos), Yeni Djami (4 of which one of ruins), Episcopal Palace of Nicosia, Serail, Lapidary museum, sarcophagus, tombs of Lusignan princes, doors of houses (10 photos), St Sophia cathedral (37 photos showing specifically the detail of the outer arches, the nave, the tympanum, the porch and the grand entrance.


As to the last folder (13), it consists of 54 small photographs by Camille Enlart mounted on 29 pages plus 11 signed by Mavrocordato and 6 unsigned. They portray the excavations at St Francis in Nicosia in 1901 and scenes of everyday life: The bazaar of textiles, the bazaar of Nicosia, the harbour, the feast of St Barnabas and the sellers of thyme, the threshing of barley at the end of harvest at Kyrenia, the suburbs of Limassol, the castle of St Hilarion, the sulphur springs near Kalopanayiotis, as well as portraits of Greeks of Rizocarpaso (north of the island) and of Cypriot policemen (zaptiehs).

This is a precious testimony, inscribed by Enlart himself, on the medieval past of Cyprus. Certain of the monuments illustrated have been destroyed during the twentieth century and we have no other visible evidence of them.