Friday, October 4, 2002Sunday, March 30, 2003
The Scottish landscape painter David Roberts, R.A. (1796-1864) was among the first of a succession of European artists who ventured to the Middle East during the early decades of the nineteenth century to record the ancient monuments, religious sites, and cities of Egypt and the Holy Land. During an 11-month expedition that began in Alexandria, Egypt in 1838, Roberts produced hundreds of detailed sketches, drawings and watercolors of the region’s rich historical bounty, perceptively capturing its natural beauty and picturesque grandeur.
On his return to Britain, Roberts enlisted master lithographer Louis Haghe (1806-1895) to create a series of original lithographs based on Roberts’ meticulously executed watercolor views. This artistic collaboration produced one of the most important and elaborate publications of the nineteenth century--a six-volume set of folios titled The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia. Published by the London firm of F.G. Moon, the folio set was issued in parts between 1842 and 1849 and comprised 247 tinted lithographic plates with accompanying texts by the Reverend George Croly and William Brockedon. A deluxe hand-colored edition was also available.
This installation of David Roberts’ magnificent views of the Middle East was organized to complement the forthcoming exhibition “Eternal Egypt: Masterworks of Ancient Art from the British Museum.” The 20 prints on view are selected from the museum’s permanent collection as well as several private collections, including the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis.
Organized by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Image: Louis Haghe, Belgian, 1806-95, after David Roberts. Ruins of the Memnonium, Thebes, plate from The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia, London, 1842-49. Lithograph in black and yellow.