View of Cairo, Egypt, from a hilltop near the Citadel, showing Old Cairo with its walls, domed buildings and minarets, lit by the sun’s rays streaming through the clouds. Across the Nile River in the hazy distance are the pyramids of Giza: Khufu, Kafhre and Menkaure. In the foreground two camel trains pass outside the wall. This image is one of two plates of Cairo originally published as part of a collection of 24 travel views of the Middle East, Africa and Asia after Henry Salt, with engravings by Daniel Havell, J. Hill and J. Buck under the supervision of Robert Havell. The collection was marketed at the time as comparable to Thomas and William Daniell’s earlier set of views, Oriental Scenery (1795-1808).
Henry Salt was an English painter, draftsman, antiquary and diplomat. He studied portrait painting with Joseph Farinton and John Hoppner. Between 1802 and 1806, Salt traveled extensively in what the English considered “the East,” visiting the locales that would later be pictured in the work he is best known for, a portfolio of aquatints titled Twenty-four Views in St. Helena, the Cape, India, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia and Egypt (1809). Salt’s main legacy is his contribution to Egyptology. After being appointed British Consul-General of Egypt in 1815, he financed archaeological excavations at important Egyptian sites, conducted his own research, and collected thousands of antiquities, many of which were sold to the British Museum and the Louvre. He died in Egypt in 1827.
“S. Rawle,” credited on this print as the etcher, was probably Samuel Rawle, an English painter, illustrator and engraver, best known for his topographical subjects and active in London around the first quarter of the 19th century. Rawle engraved plates for European Magazine and Gentleman’s Magazine. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1801 and 1806. Between 1816 and 1823 he made numerous engravings for major collections of travel vistas and antiquities.
Daniel Havell, a member of a British family of artists, was an engraver and publisher of topographical and architectural works. His engravings are distinguished by a delicacy of line.
Full publication information: The Pyramids at Cairo. Drawn by Henry Salt. Etched by S. Rawle. Engraved by D. Havell. No. XXIV. London, Published by William Miller, Albemarle Street, May 1st, 1809.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, handling, wear.
“Havell.” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000. Artnet.com. http://www.artnet.com/library/03/0369/T036953.asp (6 May 2002).
“Henry Salt (Egyptologist).” Wikipedia. 21 June 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Salt_(Egyptologist) (4 October 2013).
“Sale 2362. Lot 211.” Christie’s. 29 September 2011. http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/books-manuscripts/salt-henry-twenty-four-views-taken-5480241-details.aspx?from=salesummary&intObjectID=5480241&sid=a18d50cd-edde-4f20-94ea-39242ba82676 (4 October 2013).
“Samuel Rawle.” Wikipedia. 5 March 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Rawle (4 October 2013).