"Convent of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai",
Subject: Holy Land
Period: 1844 (dated)
Publication: The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia
Color: Printed Color
10.2 x 14 inches
25.9 x 35.6 cm
A fine tinted lithograph depicting the fortress-like convent with sheer cliffs as a backdrop and people gathered in the foreground. This convent was built on the spot where, according to tradition, the Almighty first manifested himself to Moses. The print is on a folio sheet with text below and on the verso. 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 his journeys resulted in the conversion of this dramatic sketches to lithographs by Louis Hague. The work was one of the most popular publications of its time, allowing Victorian Europeans a peek into the exotic world from the comfort of their parlors.