David Roberts

David Roberts' The Holy Land and Egypt & Nubia are considered one of the great lithographically illustrated works of the 19th century.

Robert's magnificent watercolors done during his travels in Egypt and the Middle East were published in London as lithographs by Louis Haghe in 41 parts over seven years (1842-1849). According to Roberts, Haghe has not only surpassed himself, but all that has hitherto been done of a similar nature. He has rendered the views [Robert's watercolors] in a style clear, simple and unlaboured, with a masterly vigour and boldness which none but a painter like him could have transferred to stone.

David Roberts was born at Stockbridge near Edinburgh in 1796 and at the age of 10 apprenticed to Gavin Buego, a house painter. Following his apprenticeship, Roberts did faux stone-work and paneling at Scone Palace and Abercairney Abbey. In 1818, Roberts worked as an assistant scene painter in theaters in Edinburgh, Glasgow and in 1821 at the Drury Lane Theater in London. Throughout the 1820's, he exhibited at the Society of British Artists and the Royal Academy. By 1830 Roberts was firmly established as a topographical artist. He was able to give up his theatre work and travel. He toured the continent and Scotland and in 1832-33 visited Spain. In 1838 he planned his trip to the Near East, his most important artistic journey. In August, 1839, he departed for Alexandria and spent the remaining part of the year in Cairo, visiting numerous tombs and other sites. The following year he crossed the desert in order to get to the Holy Land by way of Suez, Mount Sinai, Petra, and Gaza. He went on to Jerusalem and spent several months visiting the key biblical sites and returned to England at the end of 1839. The subsequent exhibition of his original watercolors and the published work of Haghe's lithographs were an immense success and established David Roberts' reputation as one of England's greatest architectural and landscape artists. Roberts died in 1864 in London.


Tombs of the Caliphs, Cairo; Mosque of the Ayed BeyTemple of the Wady Kardassy, NubiaRuins, Temple on The Island of Bigge, Nubia
Jerusalem from the SouthDescent Upon the Valley of JordanEngedi, Convents of St. Saba
Absoloms Pillar, Valley of JihoshaphatShrine of the Annunciation, NazarethRuins of an Ionic Temple; Ruins Called Om El Hamed near Tyre
The Dead Sea Looking Towards MoabBeit JibrinShrine of the Nativity, Bethlehem
Stone of Unction, Church of the Holy SepulchurGebil HorEntrance to The Tombs of the Kings, Jerusalem
Church of the Holy SepulchurMount-Tabor from the Plain of EsdraelonFountain at Cana
Lesser Temple of Baalbec Looking Towards Mount LebanonJerusalemPort of Tyre
BethanyChapel of the AnnunciationGreek Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem
Chapel of the Convent of St. Catherine on Mount SinaiChapel of the Convent of St. SabaCrypt of the Holy Sepulchur, Jerusalem
Encampment of Pilgrims, JerichoSite of Petra, Petra Looking SouthEl Deir, Petra
Chancel of the Church of St. HelenaRemains of the Portico of the Temple of Kom OmboPortico of the Temple of Kalabshi
The Great Temple of Aboosimble, NubiaPortico of the Temple of KalabshiSuez
Sidon; Sarda, Ancient SidonPetra, Shewing the Upper or Eastern End of the ValleyPetra, Shewing the Upper or Eastern End of the Valley
Thebes, Great Hall at KarnacPetraGrand Approach to the Temple of Philae-Nubia
The Citadel of Cairo, Residence of Mehemet AliGrand Portico of the Temple of Philae-NubiaJerusalem from the Road Leading to Bethany
Encampment of the Aulad-SaidDenderaThe Route of David Roberts, Esq. in the Holy Land, Petrea & Syria
Ruins of the Temple of the Sun at Baalbec



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