David Roberts Rare Books & Prints
David Roberts, RA (1796–1864)
David Roberts enjoyed a wide popularity in his day for his European views, but it is on the outstanding success of his drawings of the Holy Land and Egypt that the modern appreciation of his work is based.
In August 1838 he arrived in Alexandria to start a carefully planned enterprise. It is claimed that he was the first European to have unlimited access to the mosques in Cairo, under the proviso that he did not commit desecration by using brushes made from hog’s bristle. Leaving Cairo, he sailed up the Nile to record the monuments, travelling as far as Wadi Halfa and the Second Cataract.
Holy Land 19th Century Publishing
Roberts' Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, and Nubia, was one of the most elaborate ventures of nineteenth-century publishing, providing the most comprehensive series of views of the monuments, landscape, and people of the Near East. It is one of the greatest of all the colour plate books published in the nineteenth century – a true landmark. No publication before his had presented so comprehensive a series of views of the monuments, landscape, and people of the Near East.