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Ascent of the Lower Range of Sinai

Ascent of the Lower Range of Sinai

Artist: David Roberts (Scottish, 1796–1864)
Printer: Louis Haghe (Belgian, 1806–1806)
Publisher: F. G. Moon (British)
Culture: British, Scottish
Date: 1842–1845
Medium: Tinted lithograph on paper
Dimensions:
Folio-sized sheet mounts: 23 1/2 x 17 inches (59.7 x 43.2 cm)
Edition: Complete Subscription ("Royal") Edition
Classification: Print
Credit Line: Museum purchase with funds provided by Anita & John A. Schwarz, III, Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Major, Bobbie & Michael Wilsey, and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
Label Text:David Roberts was one of the first European artists to visit the Middle East after it had been made accessible following Napoleon's expeditions. He traveled from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt to modern-day Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other religious sites. The artist recorded the historical places along his route, producing hundreds of drawings with notes on light, color, local customs, and dress. Roberts' work belongs to the category of topographical painting from the early nineteenth century. It attempts to record and document a specific site in a manner that lacks the emotion of traditional landscape painting. Instead, Roberts was competing with the new invention of photography, to which he responded by creating picturesque views of the Holy Land.

After Roberts returned to London in the late 1830s, his sketches, now mostly lost, became the basis for 125 color lithographs by the printmaker Louis Haghe (1806-1885). They were published from 1842-1844 as a series called The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, and Nubia, giving the general public its first glimpse of the biblical landscape and monuments previously known only through verbal descriptions. The publication was immensely popular in Europe and the United States.
Object number: 1996.1.114
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