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David Roberts (1843)
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This early photo taken Dec.31, 1843 shows David Roberts at age 47. .




David Roberts (1796 – 1864) was a Scottish painter probably best known for a series of detailed, colored lithographic prints of Egypt, Nubia, and the Near East, produced from sketches he made in 1838–1840. Roberts sailed for Egypt in August, 1838, and over the next two years visited numerous sites from the Nile Delta upriver as far as Lower Nubia, drawing the monuments accurately using a camera obscura. The accuracy of both detail and structural proportions in his drawings is borne out by comparison with early photos by Frith and others in the late 1840s-1860s. In terms of the value of their archaeological recording, his renderings of Egyptian and Nubian sites are also comparable to slightly later images in vol.1 of the Denkmaler by Lepsius (1848).

After returning to Edinburgh in 1840, Roberts worked in London with lithographer Louis Haghe from 1842 to 1849 to produce the finished series on Egypt and Nubia, along with that entitled Sketches in the Holy Land and Syria. By then the antiquities of Egypt had become popular in Britain, and Roberts sold 400 subscriptions to the series, with Queen Victoria as the first subscriber. The complete set of lithographs by Roberts and Haghe remains in the Royal Collection.
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