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David Roberts was the first British painter to make an artistic expedition to Egypt and the Holy Land. The result of his travels was a picturesque vision of the Near East that has been hugely influential ever since. Nearly 200 years later, his work is held in institutions such as the Library of Congress in Washington and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. David Roberts wa David Roberts was the first British painter to make an artistic expedition to Egypt and the Holy Land. The result of his travels was a picturesque vision of the Near East that has been hugely influential ever since. Nearly 200 years later, his work is held in institutions such as the Library of Congress in Washington and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. David Roberts was an artist with ambition. Born in relative poverty outside Edinburgh, he spent years developing his skills as an apprentice and a jobbing artisan, graduating to a career painting backdrops for the theatre, first in Edinburgh and then in London’s Covent Garden and Drury Lane. By 1837, he had achieved renown for his landscape paintings of the Rhine and Spain. Unlike most artists, who relied on sketches brought back by other travellers, Roberts had visited these countries himself. His adventurous approach and his technical brilliance would serve him well on the journey of a lifetime – an artistic pilgrimage to Egypt and the Holy Land, the first ever undertaken by a British artist. Roberts set off in August 1838, travelling from London to Marseilles and on to Alexandria. From there he began his journey up the Nile with a crew of six men. In Cairo, he determined to record modern buildings as well as ancient, and made sketches of minarets, alleys and marketplaces. His observations remain among the few records we have of the early 19th-century city. Ultimately continuing as far south as Abu Simbel, Roberts produced over 100 sketches on his journey through Egypt, saying: ‘We shall see what impression they make in England.’ Roberts next set his sights on Palestine. He travelled across the Sinai desert along the route thought to have been taken by the Israelites when they left Egypt for the Promised Land. He and his team slept in tents under the stars and took shelter in the Monastery of St Catherine, where Roberts produced some of his most famous vistas of the Holy Land. Jerusalem was closed to visitors because of plague, but Roberts’s luck held and he was able to enter during Holy Week. It was the memorable culmination of an extraordinary voyage. As well as having visited biblical sites from the Mount of Olives to Jericho, he had assembled, as he put it, ‘one of the richest folios that ever left the East’. On his return to London, Roberts sought a publisher for his work, eventually signing a contract with Francis G. Moon for £3,000 – a vast sum, equivalent to over £200,000 today. Critics and the public lined up to praise Roberts’s works when they were first exhibited. The press lauded the aesthetic quality of his art, its historical and topographical accuracy, and the grandeur of its subject matter. Publication of the first edition was a slow and enormously expensive process. It was printed in sections, each one containing six hand-coloured lithographs created from the original drawings. But Moon’s investment paid off. There was no shortage of subscribers, with Queen Victoria (to whom the Holy Land series is dedicated) and Charles Dickens among those reserving a set. Roberts’s pictures had caught the imagination of the British public and set a trend for Orientalism in art that would continue to shape the way in which the West perceived the East. The Folio Society limited edition of The Holy Land and Egypt and Nubia, which replicated the size of the original edition, was enormously popular and quickly sold out. To make this magnificent collection available to a wider audience, we have published this fine edition, which brings together all 247 lithographs in a smaller format. 2 magnificent volumes measuring 14¾" x 10¾" Bound in cloth and blocked with designs by Neil Gower Gilded top edges, ribbon marker Presented in individual slipcases The Holy Land: Syria, Idumea and Arabia 296 pages, including 123 plates, portrait of Roberts and map Egypt and Nubia 272 pages, including 124 plates and map


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David Roberts was the first British painter to make an artistic expedition to Egypt and the Holy Land. The result of his travels was a picturesque vision of the Near East that has been hugely influential ever since. Nearly 200 years later, his work is held in institutions such as the Library of Congress in Washington and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. David Roberts wa David Roberts was the first British painter to make an artistic expedition to Egypt and the Holy Land. The result of his travels was a picturesque vision of the Near East that has been hugely influential ever since. Nearly 200 years later, his work is held in institutions such as the Library of Congress in Washington and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. David Roberts was an artist with ambition. Born in relative poverty outside Edinburgh, he spent years developing his skills as an apprentice and a jobbing artisan, graduating to a career painting backdrops for the theatre, first in Edinburgh and then in London’s Covent Garden and Drury Lane. By 1837, he had achieved renown for his landscape paintings of the Rhine and Spain. Unlike most artists, who relied on sketches brought back by other travellers, Roberts had visited these countries himself. His adventurous approach and his technical brilliance would serve him well on the journey of a lifetime – an artistic pilgrimage to Egypt and the Holy Land, the first ever undertaken by a British artist. Roberts set off in August 1838, travelling from London to Marseilles and on to Alexandria. From there he began his journey up the Nile with a crew of six men. In Cairo, he determined to record modern buildings as well as ancient, and made sketches of minarets, alleys and marketplaces. His observations remain among the few records we have of the early 19th-century city. Ultimately continuing as far south as Abu Simbel, Roberts produced over 100 sketches on his journey through Egypt, saying: ‘We shall see what impression they make in England.’ Roberts next set his sights on Palestine. He travelled across the Sinai desert along the route thought to have been taken by the Israelites when they left Egypt for the Promised Land. He and his team slept in tents under the stars and took shelter in the Monastery of St Catherine, where Roberts produced some of his most famous vistas of the Holy Land. Jerusalem was closed to visitors because of plague, but Roberts’s luck held and he was able to enter during Holy Week. It was the memorable culmination of an extraordinary voyage. As well as having visited biblical sites from the Mount of Olives to Jericho, he had assembled, as he put it, ‘one of the richest folios that ever left the East’. On his return to London, Roberts sought a publisher for his work, eventually signing a contract with Francis G. Moon for £3,000 – a vast sum, equivalent to over £200,000 today. Critics and the public lined up to praise Roberts’s works when they were first exhibited. The press lauded the aesthetic quality of his art, its historical and topographical accuracy, and the grandeur of its subject matter. Publication of the first edition was a slow and enormously expensive process. It was printed in sections, each one containing six hand-coloured lithographs created from the original drawings. But Moon’s investment paid off. There was no shortage of subscribers, with Queen Victoria (to whom the Holy Land series is dedicated) and Charles Dickens among those reserving a set. Roberts’s pictures had caught the imagination of the British public and set a trend for Orientalism in art that would continue to shape the way in which the West perceived the East. The Folio Society limited edition of The Holy Land and Egypt and Nubia, which replicated the size of the original edition, was enormously popular and quickly sold out. To make this magnificent collection available to a wider audience, we have published this fine edition, which brings together all 247 lithographs in a smaller format. 2 magnificent volumes measuring 14¾" x 10¾" Bound in cloth and blocked with designs by Neil Gower Gilded top edges, ribbon marker Presented in individual slipcases The Holy Land: Syria, Idumea and Arabia 296 pages, including 123 plates, portrait of Roberts and map Egypt and Nubia 272 pages, including 124 plates and map

34 review for The Holy Land & Egypt and Nubia - Folio Society Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Varmint

    beautiful illustrations of egypt and the holy land in early unexcavated, unrestored conditions. then contrasted with modern photos. some of the sites no longer exist, or have been so altered as to be unrecognizable. was irritated to discover that they didn't reproduce the entire folios.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amir Makar

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Renne

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tristan

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lynda

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mikey

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tony Hale

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alexandros

  11. 4 out of 5

    Omowale Jabali

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shenoda.bekheet

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jovan Brooks

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rae

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hosam Taher

  16. 4 out of 5

    Reem

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

  18. 4 out of 5

    Timvdh

  19. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

  20. 4 out of 5

    Me

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Ramzee

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nagola

  23. 5 out of 5

    Crazyarms777

  24. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  25. 5 out of 5

    Doshare

  26. 4 out of 5

    G.A. Reed

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andriesm

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jonele

  30. 4 out of 5

    Basma

  31. 4 out of 5

    Sushant Singh

  32. 5 out of 5

    Ács Norbert

  33. 4 out of 5

    Juli

  34. 4 out of 5

    Sameh Allam

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