Catalog Archive
Auction 191, Lot 749

"Obelisk of On", Roberts, David

Subject: Heliopolis, Egypt

Period: 1848 (dated)

Publication: The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia

Color: Hand Color

10.4 x 12 inches
26.4 x 30.5 cm
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David Roberts, R.A. (1796-1864) was one of the first Europeans to depict the Middle East. Considered a dangerous and barbaric land, it was not until the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt after 1798 that any serious study had been done into the Pharoic culture. Sir Richard Burton's infamous penetration of Mecca did not occur until 1858, twenty years after Roberts painted the wonders of the Moslem world and the Holy Land. The sketchbooks from Roberts' journeys were one of the most popular publications of its time, allowing Victorian Europeans a peek into the exotic world from the comfort of their parlors.

This attractive lithograph depicts the ancient Egyptian obelisk of the Temple of Ra-Atum, with hieroglyphs on the face. Produced in the tinted lithograph process and finished by hand with watercolor. English text on verso. Published by F.G. Moon in London. On a trimmed sheet measuring 14.9 x 26.5".


Condition: A

A bright sheet with a crease and a few abrasions at top right.

Estimate: $140 - $170

Sold for: $100

Closed on 2/8/2023