Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 679

"Pompey's Pillar", Roberts, David

Subject: Alexandria, Egypt

Period: 1846 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

8.6 x 10.6 inches
21.8 x 26.9 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 Pompey's Pillar in Alexandria, Egypt. It was constructed around 300 AD to honor Roman Emperor Diocletian, and is the sole ancient monument still in its original location in Alexandria. Produced in the tinted lithograph process and finished by hand with watercolor. Published by F.G. Moon in London. English text on verso. On a trimmed sheet measuring 14.5 x 14.4".


Condition: A

A bright, sturdy sheet with a few minor spots in the margins.

Estimate: $150 - $180

Sold for: $110

Closed on 2/7/2024