Temple on Gebel Garabè

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Article ID ASA1305


Temple on Gebel Garabè


View shows the ancient Egyptian temple at Gebel Garaba in Egypt. Before Roberts became famous for his pictures of Egypt and the Holy Land, he made a similarly long excursion to Spain in 1832/33 and returned with more than 200 sketches of Spanish monuments and places. These were used to produce lithographs that were published in four volumes of the Landscape Annual in 1835-38 and in a separate work, Picturesque Sketches in Spain, published in London in 1837 by Hodgson and Graves.


c. 1839


Roberts (1796-1864)

David Roberts is one of the most important vedute painters of the 19th century. Thematically, his work can be partially assigned to orientalism. In 1832, on the advice of a friend, Roberts traveled to Spain, where he got to know almost all of the big cities and drew a large number of ruins and monuments. In 1837 a selection of these vedute appeared under the title Picturesque Sketches of Spain. This publication did not make him rich because his publisher had betrayed him, but it was the basis for his permanent international reputation and gave him the acquaintance of the talented Belgian engraver Louis Haghe. Robert's two-year stay in Spain, which had taken him to Tangier, evidently reinforced his latent interest in the Orient. In any case, after lengthy preparations, in August 1838 he set out on the trip to Egypt, which was to make him famous even after his death. For three months Roberts was on a rented ship on the Nile as far as Nubia and Abu Simbel and visited all important archaeological sites. He even managed to be the first European to step inside a mosque and draw. In the further course of his journey to Jerusalem, and from there to Lebanon, he suffered a persistent fever in Baalbek, which prevented him from continuing his journey. Finally, on May 13, 1839, Roberts started his journey home from Beirut. After Roberts had found the publisher Francis Graham Moon, all 247 lithographs of the journey to the Orient between 1842 and 1849 by the Belgian engraver Louis Haghe were published in six volumes in London. In 1841 Roberts became a full member of the Royal Academy and resumed his travel activities. David Roberts died in London on November 25, 1864 at the age of 68 and was buried in Norwood Cemetery.

Historical Description

Egypt: The ancient Egyptian country name Kemet means "Black Land" and refers to the fertile soil of the Nile Valley in contrast to the "Red Land" of the neighboring deserts. The European terms Egypt, engl. Egypt comes from the Latin Aegyptus and thus ultimately from the ancient Greek Aigypto. The Copts claim to be the direct descendants of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. From their name came the Greek Aigyptos, which became Egypt in German. Islamic Arabs conquered the Nile valley around 640; From now on Egypt was dominated by changing power centers - Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo. Under the Umayyads (661–750), Arab tribes settled in the fertile plains and from then on determined the cultural appearance of Egypt. With the coming to power of Saladin, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty (1171–1249), Cairo became the center of Muslim resistance to the Christian crusades. Around 1250 the palace guard, which was made up of Mamluks, originally mostly Turkish military slaves, rose and took over. At the end of the 13th century, the Mamluks destroyed the last Crusader states on Asian soil. Even after Egypt was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1517, administration remained in their hands. The economic decline resulting from the discovery of the sea route to India (1498) made Egypt one of the poorest provinces of the Ottoman Empire. It was not until the landing of the French expeditionary force under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798 that the Ottoman rule ended. When the French had to abandon their Oriental campaign after the British Admiral Nelson won at Abukir in the same year, the Albanian officer Muhammad Ali Pasha used the situation to seize power (1805–1849). He and his successors were able to achieve a certain independence under Ottoman rule, pursued an expansionary policy and initiated the history of modern Egypt.

Place of Publication London
Dimensions (cm)24,5 x 33 cm
Conditionlittle stains
Coloringoriginal colored


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