|Illustrator||David Roberts and Louis Haghe|
The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, and Nubia is a travelogue of 19th-century Palestine and the magnum opus of Scottish painter David Roberts. It contains 250 lithographs by Louis Haghe of Roberts's watercolor sketches. It was first published by subscription between 1842 and 1849, in two separate publications: The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea and Arabia and Egypt and Nubia. William Brockedon and George Croly wrote much of the text, Croly writing the historical, and Brockedon the descriptive portions.
Described as "one of the art-publishing sensations of the mid-Victorian period", it exceeded all other earlier lithographic projects in scale, and was one of the most expensive publications of the nineteenth century. Haghe has been described by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as "the best and most prolific lithographer of the time"
Travels and publication
Roberts began his travel to the region in August 1838. He landed at Alexandria, and spent the rest of 1838 in Cairo. In February 1839 he traveled to Palestine via Suez, Mount Sinai and Petra. From Gaza he traveled to Jerusalem, and around the rest of the region. He returned to England at the end of 1839 after falling ill, having spent 11 months in the region. A total of 272 watercolour sketches were shared with the publisher F.G. Moon in 1840 who paid Roberts £3,000 for copyright to the sketches.
Famed Victorian art critic John Ruskin wrote the work was a "true portraiture of scenes of historical and religious interest. They are faithful and laborious beyond any outlines from nature I have ever seen."
Art historian John Roland Abbey wrote in his Travel in Aquatint and Lithography, 1770-1860 that "Robert's Holy Land was one of the most important and elaborate ventures of nineteenth-century publishing, and it was the apotheosis of the tinted lithograph".
John James Moscrop noted in a recent work on nineteenth century knowledge of Palestine: "The best known of the illustrators was David Roberts. If Robinson produced the nineteenth century's historical geography of the Holy Land, it fell to a Scottish painter, David Roberts, to illustrate it."
Criticism of orientalism
The images have been widely criticized as providing an orientalist perspective on the region. Uzi Baram wrote: "From Said's critique of Orientalism, it is clear that Roberts created picturesque landscapes that embodied British concerns and imagery, landscapes that were translated for the Western gaze. Roberts did not simply capture the landscapes of Palestine; similar to the other Orientalists, he fashioned an image of the Holy Land rather than representing all that he saw."
Meyers states that Roberts was "orientalizing the picturesque ideal in a Levantine setting", and Proctor writes that the images were not an accurate representation but rather a figment of the Western imagination. Bendiner proposed multiple influences underlying Roberts's orientalist style, including his social conscience, opulent taste, self-confidence, sense of history, contemporary international rivalries, and the religious questions of the day.
List of lithographs
2. Entrance to the Holy Sepulchre
7. Entrance to the Tomb of the Kings
8. Mosque of Omar, on the ancient site of the Temple.
10. Jerusalem, from the South.
11. Exterior of the Holy Sepulchre
12. The Pool of Bethesda
13. The Tower of David
15. The Golden Gate
18. Jerusalem, from the Mount of Olives.
19. The Stone of Unction
21. The Fountain of Job
22. Jerusalem, from the North.
25. The Pillar of Absalom
27. Mount Tabor
28. General View of Nazareth
29. Fountain of the Virgin, Nazareth.
33. The Fountain of Cana.
34. Cana. General View.
40. Jacob's Well at Shechem.
41. Entrance to Nablous.
43. Ruins of the Church of St. John, Sebaste.
45. Title page. Baalbec, from the Fountain.
46. Encampment of the Pilgrims at Jericho.
47. Descent upon the Valley of the Jordan.
52. The Chapel of St. Saba
53. Wilderness of Engedi, near the Convent of St. Saba.
56. Ruins of Semua.
61. Jaffa, looking South.
62. Jaffa, looking North.
65. St. Jean D'Acre, from the land.
66. St. Jean D'Acre from the sea.
68. Port of Tyre.
69. General view of Tyre.
70. Ruins of the Ionic Temple of Om-el-Hamed, near Tyre
71. Tyre from the Isthmus.
74. Sidon, from the North.
77. Baalbec, general view.
87. Chancel of the Church of St. Helena
88. Title page. Temple of El-Khasne, Petra.
90. El-Deir, Petra.
92. El-Khasne, Petra.
107. Fortress of Akabah, Arabia Petraea.
108. Island of Graia, Gulf of Akabah.
109. Convent of St. Catherine, Mount Sinai.
119. Ancient Egyptian Temple on Gebel Garabe.
121. Ayun Musa - The Wells of Moses, Wilderness of Tyh.
126. Frontispiece. View under the Grand Portico, Philoe. 127. Tile page. Entrance to the Great Temple of Aboo-Simbel, Nubia.
128. Pyramids of Gizeh, from the Nile.
130. Pompey's Pillar, Alexandria.
131. Ruins of the Temple of Kom-Ombo, Upper Egypt.
132. Temple of Tafa, in Nubia.
133. Colossal figures in front of the Great Temple of Aboo-Simbel.
134. Excavated Temple of Gyrshe, Nubia.
135. Portico of the Temple of Edfou, Upper Egypt.
138. The Sanctuary of the Great Temple of Aboo-Simbel, Nubia.
139. Interior of the Great Temple of Aboo-Simbel, Nubia.
144. Temple of Dakke, Nubia.
146. Cleopatra's Needle.
147. Obelisk of Luxor.
148. Ruins of Maharaka, Nubia.
149. Interior of the Temple of Esne, Upper Egypt.
150. Temple of Wady Kardassy, Nubia.
151. General view of the Island of Philoe, Nubia.
152. Abyssinian Slaves at Korth.
153. Portico of the Temple of Kalabshe, Nubia.
156. Approach to the Temple of Wady Saboua, Nubia.
157. View from under the Portico of the Temple of Edfou, Upper Egypt.
159. Temple of Edfou: Ancient Apollinopolis, Upper Egypt.
160. Gateway at Dendera.
161. Portico of the Temple of Dendera.
164. Nubian Women at Korti.
165. Grand Portico of the Temple of Philoe, Nubia.
166. Entrance to the Caves at Beni-Hassan.
167. Grand approach to the Temple of Philoe, Nubia.
168. Temple of Wady Saboua, Nubia.
169. Frontispiece. Front elevation of the Great Temple of Aboo-Simbel.
170. Tile page. Great Gateway, leading to the Temple of Karnac, Thebes.
172. Fragment of the Great Colossus at the Memnonium, Thebes.
173. Fortress of Ibrim, Nubia.
174. Approach to the Fortress of Ibrim.
175. Colossi at Wady Saboua.
176. Ruins of the Memnonium, Thebes.
178. A group at the entrance of the Temple of Amun, at Goorna, Thebes.
179. The Island of Philoe, by sunset.
181. Part of the Hall of Columns at Karnac, seen from without.
182. View looking across the Hall of Columns, Karnac.
183. Part of the ruins of a temple on the Island of Bigge, Nubia.
185. Ruins of the Temple of Medamout, near Thebes.
186. Ruins of a Christian Church in the Grand Court of the Temple of Medinet Abou.
187. Temple of Amada at Hassaia, Nubia.
188. Medinet Abou, Thebes.
189. Temple of Dandour, Nubia.
190. The Hypaethral Temple at Philae, called The Bed of Pharaoh.
191. Temple of Isis, on the roof of the Great Temple of Dendera.
192. Pyramids of Geezah.
193. Lateral view of the Typhonaeum at Dendera.
194. View from under the Portico of the Temple of Dendera.
195. Temple of Wady Kardassy, Nubia.
196. Asouan and the Island of Elephantine.
197. Obelisk of On.
198. Oblique view of the Hall of Columns, Karnac.
199. Temple of Wady Dabod, Nubia.
203. The Temples of Aboo-Simbel from the Nile.
204. Colossal statues in the plain of Thebes, during the inundation of the Nile.
205. Scene on the Nile, near Wady Dabod, with Crocodiles.
207. General view of Kalabshe, formerly Tolmis, Nubia.
208. Façade of the Pronaos of the Temple of Edfou.
209. Ruins of Erment, ancient Hermontis, Upper Egypt.
210. Ruins of Kom-Ombo.
211. Island of Philoe, looking over the Nile.
216. Approach to Alexandria.
217. The gate of the Metwalis, or Bab Zuweyleh, Cairo.
218. The minarets at the Bab Zuweyleh, and entrance to the mosque of the Metwalis
220. Interior of the Mosque of the Sultan Hassan.
222. The Silk-Mercer's Bazaar or El-Ghatreshyeh, Cairo.
224. Mosque of the Sultan Kaitbey, Cairo.
227. The Holy Tree of Metereeah.
229. Mosque of Ayed Bey in the desert of Suez.
236. Bazaar of the street leading to the Mosque El-Mooristan, Cairo.
245. Tombs of the Memlooks, Cairo.
248. Interior of the Mosque of the Sultan El-Ghoree.
249. The Ghawazees, or Dancing-Girls of Cairo.
- Wheatley-Irving 2007, p. 80-81.
- Wharton 2006, p. 161.
- McKitterick, David (5 March 2009). The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain: Volume 6, 1830–1914. Cambridge University Press. pp. 200–. ISBN 978-1-316-17588-0.
- Met Museum, The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia
- Jeannie Chapel; Royal Holloway College (1982). Victorian taste: the complete catalogue of paintings at the Royal Holloway College. A. Zwemmer. p. 130. ISBN 9780302005521.
- Praeterita : outlines of scenes and thoughts, perhaps worthy of memory in my past life, p.34
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David Roberts ' lithograph purporting to be of beautiful church of St George in which the place of his Lydda is evidently of Abu Ghosh
- Baram, Uzi (2007). "Images of the Holy Land: The David Roberts paintings as artifacts of 1830s Palestine". Historical Archaeology. 41 (1): 106–117. doi:10.1007/BF03376997. JSTOR 25617429. S2CID 164696852.
- Bendiner, Kenneth (1983). "David Roberts in the Near East: Social and religious themes". Art History. 6 (1): 67–81. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8365.1983.tb00794.x.
- Chander, Manu Samriti (2011). "Framing difference: the orientalist aesthetics of David Roberts and Percy Shelley". Keats-Shelley Journal. 60: 77–94. JSTOR 41409556.
- Meyers, Eric M. (1996). "The British and American Rediscovery of the Holy Land in the Early-Nineteenth Century and David Roberts". In Davies, W.D.; Meyers, E.M.; Schroth, S.W. (eds.). Jerusalem and the Holy Land Rediscovered: The Prints of David Roberts (1796 1864). San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row. ISBN 978-0-938989-15-8.
- Proctor, J. Harris (1998). "David Roberts and the ideology of imperialism". The Muslim World. 38 (1): 47–66. doi:10.1111/j.1478-1913.1998.tb03645.x.
- Schroth, Sarah W. (1996). "David Roberts in context". In Davies, W.D.; Meyers, E.M.; Schroth, S.W. (eds.). Jerusalem and the Holy Land Rediscovered: The Prints of David Roberts (1796–1864). Durham, NC: Duke University Museum of Art. pp. 39–49.
- Wharton, Annabel Jane (2006). Selling Jerusalem: Relics, Replicas, Theme Parks. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-89422-5.
- Wheatley-Irving, Linda (2007). "Holy Land photographs and their worlds: Francis Bedford and the 'Tour in the East'" (PDF). The Jerusalem Quarterly. 31: 79–96.