Well of Joab, Jerusalem

(British, 1813 (?)-aft 1865)
(British, 1830–1906)
Image: 25 x 29.7 cm (9 13/16 x 11 11/16 in.); Mounted: 45.6 x 59.3 cm (17 15/16 x 23 3/8 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 61 cm (20 x 24 in.)
Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share


This charming view of the Well of Joab resulted from the pioneering photographic collaboration of James Robertson and his brother-in-law, Felice Beato, while on a trip to the Near East in 1857. Their high quality, large, beautifully executed, and carefully composed photographs are products of the first known use of the wet-collodion process in the Holy Land. The images depict the most holy places in and near Jerusalem, typically recording the sites from striking points of view, as in the lush salt print Well of Joab, Jerusalem. The camera was pointed upward, producing a three-quarter view of the well’s architectural stone ruins, which appear to merge into the rocky surface of the hilly background. In the foreground of the composition, a solitary seated figure establishes scale and instills this otherwise desolate scene with a sense of humanity. Of the Holy Land photographers, Robertson and Beato were the first to successfully integrate human figures into the surrounding scenery of their compositions.
Well of Joab, Jerusalem

Well of Joab, Jerusalem


James Robertson, Felice A. Beato

(British, 1813 (?)-aft 1865), (British, 1830–1906)
England, 19th century

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.