Catalog Archive
Auction 192, Lot 669


"Great Gateway, Leading to the Temple of Karnac - Thebes", Roberts, David

Subject: Karnak, Egypt

Period: 1849 (dated)

Publication: Views in the Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, & Nubia

Color: Hand Color

12.5 x 11.9 inches
31.8 x 30.2 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 gate at the entrance to the Karnak temple complex. Produced in the tinted lithograph process and finished by hand with watercolor. Lithographed by Day & Son and published by F.G. Moon in London. This lithograph served as the title page for the section on Egypt and Nubia, but the title above the image has been trimmed away in this example, presumably for framing purposes. On a trimmed sheet measuring 16.4 x 13.5".


Condition: C+

The top portion of the image has been trimmed away and there are small remnants of hinge tape on verso. There is light foxing and toning along the edges of the sheet, and an abrasion in the image just below the gate. If the sheet were not trimmed this would be considered in "B+" condition.

Estimate: $100 - $130

Sold for: $170

Closed on 4/26/2023