Catalog Archive
Auction 197, Lot 691

"Statues of Memnon in the Plain of Goorna at Thebes", Roberts, David

Subject: Al Qarnah, Egypt

Period: 1846 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

13.9 x 10 inches
35.3 x 25.4 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 Colossi of Mennon, two mammoth stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep II, which guarded the pharoah's Mortuary Temple. The statues were completed around 1350 BC and still stand today. 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 17.2 x 14.6".


Condition: A

Issued on a sturdy bright sheet with minor toning just outside of the image and a few small chips along the left sheet edge.

Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $120

Closed on 4/24/2024