French archaeologists had been working at Jéronda (now Didyma in Turkey) since 1834, so it was not surprising that Girault de Prangey should include a visit to this site on his itinerary even though little could now be seen of the Temple of Apollo. Alexander the Great was responsible for beginning the temple in the 4th century BC, at the site of a sacred spring and oracle that had attracted pilgrims for hundreds of years. Although construction continued over a period of 200 years, the enormous temple was never finally completed.
The photographer concentrated on two of the three remaining Ionic columns, which were still joined by a small piece of their entablature, to represent the once enormous temple. Three of the four photographs from this site identified in the archive show these same columns from different aspects (see auction catalogue May 2003, lot 37 for one). In this one they have been photographed from below to maximise their height and minimise the impact of any background detail. This clearly displays the fluting of the columns and the detail of their Ionic capitals, but it is the seated man staring directly towards us who draws our attention. Girault de Prangey often included figures or their fleeting ghosts within his daguerreotypes, but rarely is one of these figures so sharp and clear. By sitting so still during the exposure, and staring at the camera as we now stare at him, this man makes his presence felt 160 years on.