Catalog Archive
Auction 89, Lot 293

"Side View of the Great Sphinx",

Subject: Egypt

Period: 1846 (dated)

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

Color: Black & White

10.2 x 14.2 inches
25.9 x 36.1 cm

A great early view of one of the great sites in Egypt with a pyramid in the background. Only the head of the Sphinx is visible above the ground, as this was long before any excavations were done. On a full folio sheet with text below and on verso. Tape remnant in margins and an ink mark. Image itself is fine. 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.


Condition: A

Estimate: $350 - $450

Sold for: $475

Closed on 12/8/1999