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View, Middle East, Jerusalem, from the Mount of Olives, David Roberts, Antique Print, London, 1840s


David Roberts (1796-1864) (after)
Louis Haghe (1806-1885) (lithographer)
Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives
from The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia
F.G. Moon, London: 1842-49
Hand-colored lithograph, tipped on card, as issued
Signed, dated and titled in matrix, lower left
12.75 x 19 inches, image
17.25 x 24 inches, overall

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A mid 19th century view of the city of Jerusalem from The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia, British artist David Robert’s monumental series of views of ancient sites in current day Israel, Egypt, and other parts of the Middle East. The vantage point is one of the hills outside the city, on the road leading to Bethany, looking west toward the ancient walls surrounding the Temple Mount. In the distance is the Dome of the Rock, the Tower of David, and the dome of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, an ancient mosque. The foreground shows a group of pilgrims at a spot overlooking the “Garden of Gethesmane” which the book’s commentary states is “especially sacred in the estimation of the pilgrims” as the scene of the “Agony” [of Jesus]. The pilgrims are facing a stone monument on a hilltop to the right. The commentary also mentions “an Arab village, with a stone building in its centre, which is said to mark the spot of the ‘Ascension.’ But our Lord ascended from Bethany.” That may refer to the small cluster of flat-topped buildings barely visible behind the hill on the left. The print is titled and dated in the matrix: “Jerusalem, from the Mount of Olives, April 8th, 1839.” Two other Roberts’ prints from this work bear the same title and date; they are different compositions from different in vantage points and distances.

Roberts’ magnificent series of lithographs of the Middle East were printed in creamy earth tones, some issued tinted and others issued colored. This particular example of the view of Jerusalem has fine full hand color. Moreover, it is from the scarce deluxe edition of the work, generally referred to as the “subscribers’ edition.” As such it is trimmed to the edge of the image and mounted on card as issued. The subscribers edition was published concurrently with the standard first edition at roughly twice the price; it wasn’t strictly limited to subscribers, but there were far fewer examples issued.

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David Roberts was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He began his career as a house painter and by 1816 was painting stage scenery for the theatre. In 1820 he met Clarkson Stanfield, who encouraged him as an artist, and in 1821 he moved to London, where he worked with Stanfield on sets at the Drury Lane Theatre. Roberts exhibited at the first show held by the Society of British Artists, and was able to become a full-time fine art painter in 1830. During the early 1830s he began to produce the sketches of foreign lands that were to make him famous, beginning with Spain. In 1838 and 1839 he undertook an extensive and adventurous journey to Alexandria, Cairo, and other places in the Middle East, making extensive sketches. He recorded broad vistas of the ancient world with local inhabitants, as well as detailed studies of classical architectural ruins. In the 1840s, over a period of seven years, lithographs of his sketches of the Middle East, together with text, were published in 41 parts in The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia. According to J.R. Abbey, this work forms “one of the most important and elaborate ventures in nineteenth-century publishing, and … the apotheosis of the tinted lithograph.” Roberts also produced an illustrated work on Italy in the 1850s. His paintings are in many museum collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Louis Haghe was a Belgian-born painter, watercolorist and lithographer, who spent his career in England after arriving in London in 1823. In 1830, he and his partner William Day formed the successful lithography firm of Day & Haghe, where they were known for their advanced work in color lithography. In 1838 they were appointed lithographers to Queen Victoria. Haghe was also one of the founders of the New Society of Painters in Water-Colours and served several years as president. As a watercolorist, his principal subjects were rural landscapes and villages in the North of France and the Low Countries.His major works also include three volumes of lithographs based on sketches of Germany and Belgium, published in London between 1840 and 1850. During his long career he frequently exhibited his works in Paris and London. Today his watercolors are in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the art museums of Brussels, Leicester, Manchester and other cities.

Inscription in matrix, lower left: Jerusalem, from the Mount of Olives, April 8th, 1839.

Condition: Generally very good, the board and print both recently professionally cleaned and restored, with only minor remaining overall toning and wear, as well as scattered exceedingly pale barely noticeable foxing and noting a short band of slightly darker toning at the far edges of print from prior original adhesive as tipped on card as issued. In the recent professional restoration this adhesive is now removed and the print is tipped to the card from the backside of top margin only with reversible Japanese tissue and wheat paste.


Abbey, J.R. Travel in Aquatint and Lithograph 1770-1860. San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1991 (reprint of 1957 edition). 272, 385.

Bénézit, E.Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 4, p. 551.

“David Roberts.”The Grove Dictionary of Art.New York: Macmillan. 2000. (31 March 2003).

David Roberts’ Egypt and the Holy Land. London: The Schuster Gallery, 1987. Item 149.

“Lot 234, Important British Drawings, Watercolours and Portrait Miniatures.” Sotheby’s. 2006. (29 September 2020).

Sim, Katharine. David Roberts R.A. 1796-1864, A Biography. London: Quartet, 1984.

Additional information


19th Century