Fine collection of drawings many of which preparatory for the marvellous plates in his Holy Land and Egypt, done enroute in the Mediterranean and Middle East, 1838-1839

Lot Number 283
Author ROBERTS, DAVID
Title Fine collection of drawings many of which preparatory for the marvellous plates in his Holy Land and Egypt, done enroute in the Mediterranean and Middle East, 1838-1839
Year Published 1838
Place Printed
Printed By
Description Fine collection of drawings many of which preparatory for the marvellous plates in his Holy Land and Egypt, done enroute in the Mediterranean and Middle East, 1838-1839 99 drawings of which 46 are sepia or water color over pencil with some tempera highlights, and 53 in sepia wash and pen-and-ink or pencil, various sizes from two large double-page views of Jerusalem (8 1/2 x 24 1/4 in.; 215 x 615 mm) to a tiny pen-and-ink study of a stone mountain bridge (1 3/4 x 2 1/4 in.; 45 x 70 mm); occasional spotting and soiling, a few minor corner tears. All (save two) mounted or tipped in to gold-edged cards. [With:] two autograph letters, signed ("David Roberts"), 3 pages, 4to and 1 page, 8vo, to the Reverend R. Woolmer Cory, Fitzroy Street, 17 February 1841 and to Stacy, Fitzroy Street, 26 December 1861. All in a modern maroon cloth drop-box.
Comments Preliminary sketches for the magnificent set of The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Egypt and Nubia, made during his travels in 1838-1839, and providing an extraordinary testimony of his working methods. In the 1830s European tourism in the Holy Land was increasing as the Pasha of Egypt (the nominal ruler of the region), Muhammad Ali, consolidated his authority and promoted research into and adoption of European culture. Travel books describing and illustrating the holy sites prolifereated. David Roberts (1796-1864), a scenery-painter for the Pantheon Theatre in Edinburgh, who had established a reputation as a painter of topographical and architectural views, took advantage of the trend to organize a painting expedition to the Holy Land. Arriving in Cairo in September 1838, he crossed the desert by way of Suez, Mount Sinai, and Petra, to Gaza and Jerusalem accompanied by tribes of Bedouins, friends, and guides. He later visited the Dead Sea, the Lake of Tiberias, Lebanon, and the ruins of Baalbac. Returning to England in late 1839, he sought a publisher willing to produce a lavish edition of his views. Rejected by the Finden Brothers and by John Murray, he contracted with Francis Graham Moon in 1840, who engaged the Belgian Louis Haghe to reproduce the images. The Roberts' drawings that were lithographed by Louis Haghe for the publication, were in the same size as Robert's originals. The present examples must have been his on-the-scene, portable sketches and visual notes, which he carried back to camp or hotel for the more finished productions later reproduced. There are sometimes a few trials of the same scene, notably the sketches of Jerusalem from surrounding hills, but also numerous studies of desert oases, and Bedouin costume. A complete inventory of the collection is available on application to the department.
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Estimated Price USD 120,000.00 - 180,000.00
Actual Price USD 482,500.00

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Sothebys
Website http://www.sothebys.com/
Auction Name Library of Jacques Levy
Sale Number #NO8852
Auction Date April 20, 2012 - April 20, 2012
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