Support: Wove paper
Sheet: 42.9 x 60.2 cm (16 7/8 x 23 11/16 in.); Image: 33.8 x 53.2 cm (13 5/16 x 20 15/16 in.)
Bequest of John Bonebrake 2012.181
Catalogue raisonné: Abbey 272:18
The invention of photography was announced in 1839, but photographers did not arrive in Egypt until around 1850. Prior to that, general knowledge about the ancient sites came from writings and reproductions of the paintings and drawings of adventurous artists. Roberts, the first British artist to produce a series of Egyptian views, traveled through the Middle East in 1838–40. Back in England, he worked with Haghe to translate his drawings into color lithographs, which were published between 1842 and 1849 as an opulent series of portfolios. A stimulating mixture of documentation and romanticism that still moves today’s viewers, Roberts’s images appeared just before the availability of photographic depictions of the region and inspired the photographers who followed in his footsteps.
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